New $3M NIH Grant Targets Respiratory Infection with Math. Modeling

No one is ever pleasantly surprised to find mold growing on food that has been left in the fridge too long. But everyday there is plenty of mold around us that we don’t see, including hundreds of spores of some types of invisible mold that we unknowingly inhale.

While this probably sounds pretty alarming and disgusting, Aspergillus fumigatus is not harmful to most people. However, for someone with a weakened immune system, this fungus poses serious health dangers.

Reinhard Laubenbacher, joint faculty member at UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, has received more than $3 million from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to use mathematical and computational tools to explore new potential therapeutic targets to treat those affected by invasive aspergillosis.  Read more.

Ovarian Cancer Cells Hoard Iron to Fuel Growth

Cancer cells tend to hoard iron, and ovarian cancer cells in particular. They take in more iron than normal cells, and they release less of it. UConn Health postdoctoral fellow in computational biology Anna Konstorum, director of the Center for Quantitative Medicine Reinhard Laubenbacher, and their colleagues wondered why. Perhaps cancer cells’ iron habit was a weakness doctors could use against the disease. Read more.

Statewide Pain Consortium with JAX

At a time when the danger of opioids is clear, UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) are collaborating to form the Connecticut Pain Consortium.

Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher, who will lead the consortium and is a joint faculty member at UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory, said the consortium will focus on researching the causes of pain, as well as pain management and how to translate that research into new therapies. Read more.

UConn Health Researchers Awarded More than $2.2m from NIH Grant

Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher from the UConn School of Medicine Department of Cell Biology, Director of the Center for Quantitative Medicine and Professor at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Dr. Pedro Mendes also in the Department of Cell Biology and the Center for Quantitative Medicine, and Dr. Anna Dongari-Bagtzoglou, chair of the Division of Periodontology UConn School of Dental Medicine, have been awarded more than $2.2 million from the National Institutes of Health, to study ways by which we may be able to control biofilms formed by a fungus that is an important cause of topical and systemic infections. Read more.

First of Its Kind Pain Consortium

UConn Health, UConn Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and The Jackson Laboratory have announced the creation of the Connecticut Pain Consortium, a translational pain research and education collaboration which is the first of its kind in the Connecticut medical community. The consortium will be led by Professor Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher, a joint faculty member at UConn Health and JAX. “There is a clear need for more basic and translational research on human pain and pain management,” said Dr. Laubenbacher. “And, there is a critical unmet need for education and training of providers and patients. This is a great opportunity to deploy our capabilities in addiction and pain research together with our Connecticut partners in an exciting and much needed state-wide initiative.” Read more

19th Annual Workshop Computational Cell Biology June 11-14, 2018

The 19th Annual Workshop on Computational Cell Biology will be sponsored by the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM) at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine on June 11-14, 2018. This is an intense hands-on course designed to enable cell biologists and biophysicists to develop models of their experimental system using Virtual Cell and COPASI software systems.  As a NIH Biomedical Technology Resource, we are charged with supporting NIH fundedresearch through collaborative projects. Accordingly, priority for acceptance
into the course is given to NIH-funded laboratories.

The course will consist of ½ day of introductory lectures presented by the developers of the two software platforms. The remaining 3.5 days will consist of continuous interactive, hands-on sessions using the software for developing models and performing simulations. The course will be limited to about 12 people to allow for extensive one-on-one teaching sessions and to promote in-depth scientific discussions among the participants and instructors. Course instructors will include Michael Blinov, Ann Cowan, Leslie Loew, Pedro Mendes, Ion Moraru,
Jim Schaff, and Boris Slepchenko.


USTARS 2018 Mentoring Panel

Dr. Luis Sordo Vieira attended the 8th annual Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium (USTARS) at Reed College on April 6-8, 2018. He was invited to be on the mentoring panel. For more information about USTARS, please visit