An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Texas A&M University has been awarded a Division of Computing and Communication Foundations grant by the National Science Foundation to develop a gut-microbial investigation model that can identify critical dietary risk factors that cause colorectal cancer. The three-year, $350,000 project is a direct outcome of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Interdisciplinary Seed Grants for Strategic Initiatives, which provided initial funding to establish the collaborative research effort.
The project, titled “Minimum Mean Square Error Estimation and Control of Partially Observed Boolean Dynamical Systems with Applications in Metagenomics,” aims to develop and apply innovative signal processing techniques to uncover the complex interactions among microbes, human cells and their metabolic products in the gut. The project will produce innovative methods for estimation and control of processes that consist of the complex interactions of many switching elements, such as “presence” and “absence” of a particular microbial species in the gut, which are only indirectly observed through noisy biomedical assays.
Braga-Neto is assisted by an interdisciplinary collaborative team that includes Dr. Robert S. Chapkin, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M AgriLife; Dr. Arul Jayaraman, Ray B. Nesbitt Endowed Chair Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering… Continue reading.
Five engineering faculty members were part of the inaugural class of Presidential Impact Fellows, which were recently announced by Texas A&M University president Michael K. Young. The 2017 honorees from the Texas A&M College of Engineering are Dr. Melissa A. Grunlan, Dr. Arum Han, Dr. Arul Jayaraman, Dr. Raymundo Arroyave and Dr. Zachary Grasley.
“Today, we acknowledge a new investment in the excellence of select faculty who through their scholarship, personal commitment and results demonstrate they are rising to meet the challenges of their field and demonstrating impact towards creating a better world,” said Young. “I am proud to name these faculty as the inaugural Presidential Impact Fellows.”
The program was established to recognize rising stars in their respective fields, and those who embody the university’s commitment to advancing knowledge through transformational learning, discovery, innovation and impact for Texas and the world. Twenty-four faculty members from across Texas A&M’s 16 colleges and schools, two branch campuses and comprehensive University Libraries were honored with this award.
Jayaraman is associate department head, director of the graduate program and holds the Ray B. Nesbitt Endowed Chair in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering. His research interests include molecular systems biotechnology, specifically on using integrated experimental and modeling approaches for investigating problems in human health and medicine; systems biology of cytokine signaling in inflammatory diseases; inter-kingdom signaling interactions between bacteria and human cells in GI tract infections; and development of microfluidic model systems for combinatorial drug screening and vascular tissue engineering.
“All disease begins in the gut. Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease,” said Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician.
Of the many disciplines studied in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, biomedicine and biotechnology are areas represented by faculty research. Dr. Arul Jayaraman, Ray Nesbitt Professor and associate department head, was recently awarded funding from the Research Development Fund by the vice president for research at Texas A&M University. The award supports metabolomics research—the scientific study of the set of metabolites present within an organism. The collected data would then lead to industrial development of biomedicines.
Dr. Arul Jayaraman, professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University and holder of the Ray Nesbit Professorship, is the principal investigator for a $2 million research grant funded by the National Institutes of Health to study “Modeling and Analysis of the Role of Microbiota Metabolites in T-Cell Differentiation."
“We hope that these studies will lead to the development of novel therapies for treating inflammatory diseases,” said Jayaraman.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Arul Jayaraman, Ph.D., Professor and Holder of the Ray Nesbitt Professorship, Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Jayaraman was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For noteworthy contributions to experimental systems biology and its application to inter-kingdom signaling between bacteria and eukaryotes.
Dr. Arul Jayaraman, professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University and holder of the Ray B. Nesbitt Professorship, has collaborated with researchers from Tufts University School of Engineering in the computational evaluation of gastrointestinal (GI) tract microorganism function. The journal, Nature Communications, published the findings in a November 20 edition.
The prediction and identification of metabolic properties found in the GI tract could offer new diagnosis and treatment opportunities for diseases and disorders in the GI tract as well as the understanding of other diseases related to metabolic and neurological functions.
Work previously published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (doi: 10.1073/pnas.0906112107) from Jayaraman’s laboratory had already demonstrated that indole, a bacterial metabolite derived from the aromatic amino acid tryptophan, caused an anti-inflammatory response in the gut and increased resistance to pathogen colonization that could lead to infection.