Already, multidisciplinary projects are emphasized in solicitations for research grants. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and NIH work together on joint initiatives to support collaborative research in several areas, including computational neuroscience and research in mathematics and statistics related to mathematical biology research (National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/nsf02125/nsf02125.htm). The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has several initiatives to promote quantitative, interdisciplinary approaches to problems of biomedical significance, particularly those that involve the complex, interactive behavior of many components. For example, the Protein Structure Initiative supports the creation of partnerships such as the Berkeley Structural Genomics Center, run by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in partnership with the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Another initiative, the Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative, is at an earlier stage of development, but was set up to encourage the optimal use of computer science and technology to address problems in biology and medicine. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has supplemental funds available for principal investigators who want to develop and incorporate computational and theoretical modeling approaches into existing research projects. NIDA-funded researchers studying behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological processes, and cellular and molecular mechanisms of drug abuse and addiction, are eligible for this supplemental funding. It is anticipated that funds will be used to bring state-of-the-art computational and theoretical modeling approaches to the analysis of ongoing research projects. In 2000, NIH established the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, which, among other activities, works with other institutes to provide funding under a Bioengineering Research Partnership program. This interdisciplinary focus is not limited to biology in the biomedical realm; for example, the NSF initiative BioComplexity in the Environment is designed for large teams with members who come from different disciplines as well as different institutions.

To successfully participate in the interdisciplinary research of the fu-

   

Societal Influences (NRC, 2001b); The Aging Mind: Opportunities in Cognitive Research (NRC, 2000d); and From Monsoons to Microbes: Understanding the Ocean’s Role in Human Health (NRC, 2000c).



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