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Shankar Subramaniam
Named Distinguished Scientist
at the San Diego Supercomputer Center

June 07, 2010

By Jan Zverina

Shankar Subramaniam has been named a Distinguished Scientist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), to assist the Organized Research Unit of the University of California, San Diego, in identifying new opportunities and solutions in the area of bioinformatics. Subramaniam’s appointment is effective June 1, 2010.

Subramaniam, a professor of bioengineering, chemistry and biochemistry, cellular and molecular medicine and nano engineering, is currently Chair of UC San Diego’s Bioengineering Department. He holds the inaugural Joan and Irwin Jacobs Endowed Chair in Bioengineering and Systems Biology, and was the founding director of the Bioinformatics Graduate Program at the university, participating in campus-wide recruitment of leading researchers in systems biology.

“All of us at SDSC look forward to working with Dr. Subramaniam in his new role as a Distinguished Scientist,” said Michael L. Norman, SDSC’s interim director. “As a true pioneer in bioinformatics and systems biology, Dr. Subramaniam is uniquely qualified to identify new opportunities and propose innovative solutions as SDSC broadens its expertise in these exciting areas of scientific research.”

Bioinformatics is the application of statistics and computer sciences to the field of molecular biology. It has been used widely in genomics and genetics, notably in research involving large-scale DNA sequencing.

“I am honored to be appointed as an SDSC Distinguished Scientist,” said Subramaniam. “The new developments at SDSC, notably with its next generation of high-performance computing and data systems, are extraordinarily synergistic with my research plans, and I look forward to extremely valuable and productive collaborations.”

In 2008, Subramaniam was awarded the Faculty Excellence in Research Award at the UC San Diego. Prior to moving to UC San Diego, Subramaniam was a professor of biophysics, biochemistry, molecular and integrative physiology, chemical engineering and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).  He also was the director of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and co-director of the W.M. Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics at UIUC.

As a strong advocate of systems engineering principles applied to biomedical sciences, Subramaniam’s research covers several areas of systems biology and medicine, and he is widely recognized as a leader in new areas of biomedical engineering. He is well-known as the developer of the Biology WorkBench, a Web-based analysis environment that allows biologists to search a variety of popular protein and nucleic acid sequence databases. Subramaniam’s recent work on insulin resistance, which has revealed mechanisms associated with insulin resistance, response and non-response to thiazolidinedione (TZD) drugs and identifying markers of response, have garnered significant interest in the biomedical research community. His work on macrophages and inflammation has led to novel mechanistic insights, and provided the first complete picture of mammalian lipid metabolism in response to inflammation. His recent work on deciphering the cellular modules involved in skeletal muscle physiology and pathophysiology is likely to have significant impact in understanding diseases such as Duchesne muscular dystrophy.

Subramaniam is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and a recipient of Smithsonian Foundation and Association of Laboratory Automation Award.

About SDSC
As an organized research unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is a national leader in creating and providing cyberinfrastructure for data-intensive research. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible and integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC recently announced plans to build the high-performance computing community’s first flash memory-based supercomputer system named Gordon, to enter operation in 2011. SDSC is a founding member of TeraGrid, the nation's largest open-access scientific discovery infrastructure.


Media Contacts:
Jan Zverina, SDSC Communications, 858 534-5111 or jzverina@sdsc.edu
Warren R. Froelich, SDSC Communications, 858 822-3622 or froelich@sdsc.edu

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