Life Sciences at Purdue University

On April 20, Purdue will host a Data Science in the Life Sciences Symposium on the West Lafayette campus to explore what the exponential growth in data means for the Purdue life science community. The forum will feature Casimir Starsiak III, lead of strategy and business operations at Verily Life Sciences, a Google spinoff that is developing new medical sensors, health platforms and precision medicine initiatives.  

The theme of our symposium is the coming Fifth Industrial Revolution (5th IR), in which our ability to unravel and harness data from complex biological systems promises change on a scale that will eclipse anything to date. This transformation will follow our current 4th IR (cyber systems, networks and the Internet of Things), the 3rd IR of the 1970s (computers and electronics), the 2nd IR of the 1890s (manufacturing) and the 1st IR of the late 1700s (steam), but is expected to be even more revolutionary. Technology – specifically, the way we interact with it – will fundamentally alter every aspect of our lives, including how we understand and treat illness, how we promote health and how we care for aging populations.  

Last month, the Offices of the Provost and the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships released two data science reports that identify ways the university can transform teaching, research and partnerships in response to these disruptive new technologies. Our symposium follows on the heels of these reports, but is focused specifically on how we can harness data to advance research in the life sciences, including science, agriculture, engineering and the humanities.  

Please mark your calendars. Additional information will be forthcoming. 

Faculty in the news: 
Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery

The Institute is investigating options to continue expanding the drug discovery capabilities at Purdue.  Currently, the high-throughput/high-content chemical genomics screening facility is exploring the purchase of a Molecular Devices FLIPR Tetra High-Throughput Cellular Screening System.  This system will bring a new capability to campus by allowing the measurement of fast kinetic cell properties such as calcium flux.  Traditionally, this type of instrument has been used for studying the kinetics of and identifying modulators of GPCRs and ion channel drug targets.  Thanks to those who attended the demonstration last week and have already tried samples on the instrument.  If your lab is interested in this system, please contact Lan Chen for more details.

Upcoming Events: 
  • Special Seminar - Monday, March 5 at 11:00 a.m. in the DRUG Lobby Conference Room with Dr. Bryan Norman, recently retired from Eli Lilly.
Recent News:
Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease

Dear PI4D members and friends, this week I am excited to host Karla Satchell who is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.  Andy Mesecar (Department of Biochemistry) and I are collaborating with Karla on the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Disease (CSGID), an NIH-funded contract that provides free access to structural determination of protein targets for the broader community of scientists.  As denoted on the CSGID website:

“The Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID) is a consortium of laboratories using state-of-the-art, high-throughput structural biology methods to determine the three-dimensional structures of protein targets from pathogens in the NIAID Category A-C priority lists and organisms causing emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The CSGID offers structure determination as a free service to the scientific community and is actively seeking collaborations. The CSGID also conducts research projects that utilize experimental approaches forfunctional characterization of protein targets and for structure-guided vaccine design and drug discovery.”

The CSGID consortium site can be found at
To propose new protein targets, investigators are referred to

Wishing you much success,
Richard Kuhn

  • International Collaborations are in the works
  • PI4D invited Dr. Karla Satchell, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine who presented a Seminar entitled “Vibrio MARTX toxins as effector delivery platforms to promote bacterial pathogenesis”.  Thanks to all for attending the seminar and those who met with Dr. Satchell, remember to check out the consortium she is leading (info above).
Upcoming events: 
Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience

Greetings! This week we kicked-off the Spring Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Seminar Series with Dr. Anne B. Sereno, professor of mathematical & computational cognitive science, cognitive psychology and biomedical engineering. Please join us on February 14th for our next installment. Congratulations to the Purdue Autism Cluster, a PIIN affiliate, that was awarded one of four community-building grants from the Office of the Provost.  Gabriel O. Albors, Director of the Neuroscience Animal Behavioral Core, visited the National Institutes of Health-Behavioral Neuroscience Core this week; and the visit served as reconnaissance for the planning of Purdue’s core and as a platform to develop future collaborations. â€‹Finally, registration is now open for the Greater Indiana SfN Annual Meeting hosted at Purdue on March 23, 2018—please register asap here! Abstract deadline is February 16th.

Friendly reminder: please contact to contribute research highlights for our website.

Recent News: 
  • Keith Kluender - "Noise expert provides testimony at the Montgomery County Commissioners meeting"
  • Vikki Weake - "PIIN member interviewed by Eye on Vision and The Pulse on AMI radio stations"
  • Chris Rochet - "PIIN leadership member presents about strategies to defeat Parkinson's disease"
Recent Publications: 
  • Zhongming Liu - "Vagal nerve stimulation triggers widespread responses and alters large-scale functional connectivity in the rat brain”
  • R. Timothy Bentley- “Fungal Infections of the Central Nervous System in Small Animals: Clinical Features, Diagnosis, and Management” 
  • R. Timothy Bentley - "Immunologic and gene expression profiles of spontaneous canine oligodendrogliomas”
Upcoming Events:
Purdue University Center for Cancer Research

The Purdue University Center for Cancer Research (PCCR) was established as an NCI basic science cancer center in 1978.  As such, the PCCR's mission focuses on basic discovery - discovery that is the foundation through which the PCCR fosters innovative cancer solutions.   Your membership and contributions are key to fighting the cancer problem!  Please find updates below and you can always reference information on our website.

You should have received an email asking you to whitelist the and email addresses.  Please go here to read more about upcoming changes from this important announcement. 

Upcoming Events:

Up Next in the Cancer Center Seminar Series - February 8

nicole sampson
Dr. Nicole Sampson
"Cholesterol Metabolic Pathways in M. tuberculosis: Opportunities for Tuberculosis Drug Discovery and Diagnosis" - DRUG Lobby Conference Room @ 11:30 a.m.

February 15 Dr. John Tesmer
"Structural analysis of heterotrimeric G protein signaling regulating tumor growth and metastasis" - DRUG Lobby Conference Room @ 11:30 a.m.


The following Cancer Center internal funding opportunities are being released February 1; visit our internal funding page for more information:
  • Jim and Diann Robbers Cancer Research Grant for New Investigators, $30,000
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program, $3,000 with $1,000 PI match
  • SIRG Graduate Research Assistantships, 1-year award
  • Miles Graduate Scholarship Award, $1,200
  • Phase I Concept Awards (Cycle 3), $15,000
  • Shared Resource Projects (Cycle 3), Varies
  • Phase II Mature Awards (Cycle 2), $40,000
  • Challenge Research Award, $50,000
Nadia Atallah is co-teaching a class this spring titled "High Performance Computing (HPC) for Life Sciences" with Dr. Gladys Andino (Research Computing) and Dr. Michael Gribskov (Biological Sciences and Computer Science)
Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering

Regenstrief Center Director Paul Griffin and BME Professor Sherry Harbin will facilitate the 2nd Engineering Faculty Conversation on Engineering and Healthcare/Medicine.  There will be discussion around opportunities for education, research, and engagement.  The topics will include precision medicine, health systems engineering, integrated care, and physiological systems engineering.  The event will be on February 22 from 11:30-1:00pm in STEW 202.  RSVP to Donna Young (  For more information, contact: Assoc. Dean Melba Crawford ( or Assoc. Dean Arvind Raman (

The Regenstrief Center is a sponsor of the Indiana Life Science Collaboration Conference Series Potential Disruptive Innovators in Healthcare.  This conference will be help on February 16 in Hine Hall, 875 W. North Street, Indianapolis.  Presentations will be given by some outstanding speakers including Robert DeVol, Director of Healthcare Innovator’s Collaborative for Premier, Alexander Gaffney, Senior Manager of PwC Health Research Institute, and Louisa Roberts, Market Leader for Cognitive for IBM Watson Health.  Further information may be found here.

The College of Engineering is searching for multiple faculty positions at all levels in the area of Data Science.  Submit applications online at, including curriculum vitae, teaching and research plans, and names of four references. For information/questions regarding applications contact Paul Griffin who is co-chairing the search, at  Review of applications will continue until position is filled. A background check will be required for employment in this position.

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