Professor Vasant Honavar is part of a team of Iowa State University researchers who have been awarded a 3-year, $1,000,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to identify genes and immune networks that control host response to Salmonella infection.
Salmonella is one of the major causes of food borne bacterial infections worldwide. An interdisciplinary team consisting of ISU faculty with expertise in Molecular Genetics (Chris Tuggle), Bioinformatics and Computational Systems Biology (Vasant Honavar), Statistics (Dan Nettleton), Microbiology and Preventive Medicine (Michael Wannemuehler) and USDA collaborators will use functional genomics approaches to identify genes and immune networks that orchestrate the post-infection immune response of the host. This project is a collaborative effort involving the Center for Integrative Animal Genomics and theCenter for Computational Intelligence, Learning, and Discovery.
Some specific goals of the project include: identifying the genetic factors that contribute to robust response to Salmonella infection; constructing computational models of the underlying genetic regulatory networks; and developing inexpensive and reliable diagnostic prognostic tools for predicting the outcome of infection. Professor Honavar's primary focus in this project will be on integrative analysis of gene expression data and construction of computational models of gene networks.