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Introduction from Director

L.J. Gross

Background music: Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase (Trad.) performed by The_Pea_Ridge_Ramblers on the CD "Live at Laurel" recorded by Louis Gross, February 10, 2007. Used by permission.

On behalf of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis Leadership Team, I welcome you to this new endeavor at the interface between mathematics and biology.

Modern biology has become more and more driven by the need for mathematical and quantitative methods to elucidate general phenomena arising from the complexity of interactions on the numerous spatial, temporal and hierarchical scales at which biological systems operate. The continuing expansion of experimental and observational methods which generate tremendous amounts of biological data require new mathematical methods and computational approaches to allow us to find patterns and evaluate hypotheses for how the biological world came to be and how it might change in the future.

At the same time, there are enormous challenges of a direct practical nature in managing natural systems, evaluating methods to promote individual and public health, and determining the impacts of various human activities which affect our world. We intend to build at NIMBioS the infrastructure needed to develop and evaluate the "scientific stories" we tell to better understand nature and project the implications of our actions affecting biological systems at all scales. Along the way, we are certain to find that new mathematical and computational methods are needed and NIMBioS offers, particularly through access to some of the most powerful high performance computational facilities anywhere, opportunities for mathematical and computational scientists to build new cooperative endeavors with biologists.

NIMBioS arose from a new collaboration between the National Science Foundation and other agency sponsors, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The ongoing challenges of maintaining a safe food supply, avoiding economic disruptions caused by emerging infectious diseases, and evaluating methods to better manage the inevitable disease outbreaks that develop due to globalization, may best be investigated by integrating modeling and mathematics with the biological studies which are critical to the formulation of public policy to address these challenges. NIMBioS will focus the talents of researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries and take an integrative approach to investigate these challenges to linked natural and human social systems.

NIMBioS offers numerous opportunities to researchers to lead and participate in this exciting new endeavor. I encourage you to consider applying your talents to join with us.

Louis J. Gross
September 2008

NIMBioS At-A-Glance: September 2009 - June 2013

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