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January 3, 2001

"with SmithKline Beecham"

Dr. Leonid Hrebien has been awarded a contract titled "Alliance for Data Analysis between SmithKline Beecham and Drexel University." Dr. Hrebien and his team will explore novel methods of data analysis to study gene and protein expression (genomics and proteiomics) data. The sponsor funding for the project is $483,972 over 3 3/4 years.

Dr. Hrebien holds the distinction of being the first engineering faculty at Drexel to capitalize on the compelling promise of information engineering offered by the post-genomics era and for taking the initiative to establish productive corporate ties with SmithKline Beecham, a major regional bioinformatics player in drug discovery. Please join me in congratulating him for this achievement and offering our best wishes for continued success.

Taking this opportunity, let me note that the alliance with SmithKline is part of Drexel's initiative in Bioinformatics which has been launched in partnership with the Coriell Institute for Medical Research. A search for joint Chair Professor in Bioinformatics is
ongoing. The over-arching theme of the initiative is "genes in complex systems" and builds upon the information engineering and life sciences strengths of the partners which include the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences. Strong ties with MCP Hahnemann University, in particular, the Biochemistry Department are developing rapidly. We are also interacting with regional computational research resources and other academic and corporate stake-holders as potential partners in large-scale bioinformatics projects. In parallel, an interdisciplinary team of faculty is developing an undergraduate minor in bioinformatics as well as a graduate specialization curriculum.

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