Benos Lab awarded NIH R01 Grants

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Takis Benos and the Benos lab have been awarded an NIH R01 grant entitled “COPD subtypes and early prediction using integrative probabilistic graphical models”. This is a 4-year award that will which is expected to provide $3.23 million in total support to their research aiming to identify subtypes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide. In 2019 it was responsible for 3.23 million deaths. In USA, it kills ~37 people / 100,000 per year. One of the problems with this disease is that it is heterogeneous and identifying subtypes can help improve disease management and treatment.

And additional congratulations to Dr. Takis Benos and his colleague Dr. Peter Spirtes of the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Philosophy has been awarded an RO1 entitled “Interpretable graphical models for large multi-modal COPD data” which focuses on developing causal graphical models for any-type of data and apply them to address important questions in COPD research.

Lee Lab Publishes in Science Advances


A myriad of inflammatory cytokines regulate signaling pathways to maintain cellular homeostasis. The IkB kinase (IKK) complex is an integration hub for cytokines that govern nuclear factor kB (NF-kB) signaling. In response to inflammation, IKK is activated through recruitment to receptor-associated protein assemblies. How and what information IKK complexes transmit about the milieu are open questions. In this paper, the Lee Lab track dynamics of IKK complexes and nuclear NF-kB to identify upstream signaling features that determine same-cell responses. Experiments and modeling of single complexes reveal their size, number, and timing relays cytokine-specific control over shared signaling mechanisms with feedback regulation that is independent of transcription. Their results provide evidence for variable-gain stochastic pooling, a noise-reducing motif that enables cytokine-specific regulation and parsimonious information transfer. They propose that emergent properties of stochastic pooling are general principles of receptor signaling that have evolved for constructive information transmission in noisy molecular environments.

Cruz JA*, Mokashi CS*, Kowalczyk GJ, Guo Y, Zhang Q, Gupta S, Schipper DL, Smeal SW, Lee REC. A variable-gain stochastic pooling motif mediates information transfer from receptor assemblies into NF-kB. Sci. Adv. 7, eabi9410 (2021)

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program offers awards to Caroline Larkin, April Rich and Gaby Gerlach

The 2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) has offered awards to Caroline Larkin (Faeder/Shoemaker Labs) and April Rich (Carvunis Lab), while Gaby Gerlach (Camacho Lab) has received an honorable mention. Congratulations!

Caroline Larkin April Rich Gaby Gerlach

About the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program: The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education., the answer to which will be revealed in the substantive part and summarized in the conclusion.

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