Faculty advisory committees oversee progress in each of the eight strategic strengths identified in UB 2020 that bring together scholars across the disciplines as part of faculty-driven research initiatives.
Kenneth Blumenthal, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry, led initial efforts to develop the Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics (MRBSB) strategic strength and has been influential in directing its evolution since its inception in 2005.
Faculty working in the strength are pioneering new approaches to medical and biological discoveries by integrating three major disciplines—genomics, chemical biology and signal transduction—and how they intersect in the analysis of biological systems
As head of the MRBSB Faculty Advisory Committee, he confers with other committee members on potential faculty hires, which have numbered more than 30.
“The people who have come in have done really well in terms of becoming integrated as faculty members and setting up research programs,” says Blumenthal.
To help advance their work, MRBSB sponsors annual international symposia that bring together physical and biomedical scientists to explore new avenues to which they can apply their expertise. It also conducts an internal seminar program to integrate faculty from across the university into the strength.
“If you look back to where we were three or four years ago, we’ve really done a lot, not just in molecular recognition, but in the other strengths as well,” he observes.