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CS Plays Critical Role in iPlant

February 8, 2008

UA-Led Research Team Awarded $50 Million to Solve Plant Biology's Grand Challenges

The National Science Foundation has awarded a University of Arizona–led team $50 million over five years to create a global center and computer cyberinfrastructure within which to answer plant biology's grand challenge questions. The project will unite plant scientists, computer scientists and information scientists from around the world for the first time ever to provide answers to questions of global importance and advance all of these fields. The five-year project potentially is renewable for a second five years for a total of $100 million.

UA Computer Science Leadership

The lead investigator for the project is Rich Jorgensen of Plant Sciences.  Co-principal investigators are Greg Andrews, Computer Science, Sudha Ram, Management Information Systems, and Vicki Chandler, BIO5 Institute. Also collaborating on this project is co-principal investigator Lincoln Stein from Cold Spring Harbor Labs, New York.

Computer Science faculty Greg Andrews, Kobus Barnard, John Hartman, Richard Snodgrass, and Suzanne Westbrook were involved in writing the proposal and also have leadership roles on the project. Computer Science faculty members Alon Efrat, John Kececioglu, Bongki Moon, and Beichuan Zhang will work on special projects.

For more information about the iPlant Collaborative, please visit