BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 16, 2004 – Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) proudly welcomes one full-time and two visiting research faculty members to the institute’s already 14-strong researcher base. With the addition of Dr. Joao Setubal, VBI completes its first phase of research faculty hires. Drs. Rengul Cetin-Atalay and Volkan Atalay will complete their sabbaticals at VBI as visiting research faculty.

Cetin-Atalay, Atalay, and Setubal come to VBI from Belkent University in Ankara, Turkey, Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and University of Campinas in Campinas, Brazil, respectively.

Cetin-Atalay research credentials include a Medical Doctor degree, Diplome d’Etudes approfondies in Structure and Function of Integrated Biological Systems, and a Ph.D. Before joining VBI, Cetin-Atalay worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Bilkent University. Her accomplishments include $26,000 in sponsored research projects and the instruction of six undergraduate and graduate level courses. In addition, she served as a reviewing member of Biotechniques journal, and has published eight journal papers, one book chaper, and three conference papers.

In addition, V. Atalay brings a distinguished research record to VBI. V. Atalay holds a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, M.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies in Informatics, and a Diplome de Docteur with a specialty in Informatics. Previously, V. Atalay served as an Associate Professor at Middle East Technical University. His accomplishments include garnering over $500,000 to support national and international research projects, nine undergraduate and graduate level courses taught, reviewing member of International Journal of Document Analysis and Recognition, 13 journal publications, and 41 conference publications.

Setubal's research credentials include a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science. Among his engineering, lecturing, and computer science background, Setubal created the Laboratory for Bioinformatics at the Institute of Computing at Unicamp in Brazil--and since its founding--coordinated the facility. He has taught 10 undergraduate and graduate classes, published 15 refereed journal articles, and co-authored the well-known textbook "Introduction to Computational Molecular Biology" published in 1997. Previously, Setubal has received over $2.5 million in grant funding for supported projects and has solid plans to increase that number with VBI.

The additions of Cetin-Atalay, Atalay, and Setubal are already benefiting VBI. Cetin-Atalay and Atalay are currently working on a proposal with Dr. Vladimir Shulaev to partner with Wake Forest University in a hopeful $15-million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Setubal brings with him a $188,640 grant and partnership from University of Washington.

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Published by Public Relations, February 15, 2004