The United States Department of Agriculture Funds Dr. Honavar's Research on Elucidating Gene Networks Involved in Immune Response to Viral Infections

November 22, 2009

Dr. Honavar is part of a multi-institutional team of investigators supported by a $749,975 three-year research grant from the United States Department of Agriculture aimed at elucidating the gene networks involved in the immune response to viral infections using a combination of experimental and computational approaches in functional genomics and systems biology. The interdisciplinary team consisting of Dr. Joan Lunney (USDA-ARS, Beltville, Maryland), Dr. Vasant Honavar (Iowa State University) Dr. Roman Pogranichniy (Purdue University), Dr. Juan Steibel (Michigan State University), Dr. Chris Tuggle (Iowa State University), and Dr. Zhihua Jiang (Washington State University) will focus on genetic pathways that are involved in resistance and response to the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infections. However, the resulting tools will be applicable to a broad range of problems in identifying and characterizing gene networks that orchestrate important biological functions. Hence this project will help advance additional collaborations involving researchers from the Center for Computational Intelligence, Learning, and Discovery ( and the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics ( at Iowa State University.