The Richard D. Berlin Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM),
at the University of Connecticut Health Center, is developing new approaches for in vivo measurements and manipulation of molecular events within the cell, and new computational approaches to organize such data into quantitative models.
CCAM integrates new microscope technologies for making quantitative in vivo live cell measurements with new physical formulations and computational tools that will produce spatially realistic quantitative models of intracellular dynamics.
To investigate the relationships between experimental and compuational worlds, we use a tripartite approach described as:
- Measure - develop new tools for measuring spatially resolved dynamic behavior of molecules in cells.
- Model - develop new methods for spatial modeling of biological systems.
- Manipulate - develop new techniques for manipulating the spatial distribution of molecules in living cells.
These three analytical approaches, (measurement, modeling and manipulation) are integrated and interdependent, e.g. models generate predictions that can be validated with new measurements, as well as experimental approaches that manipulate intracellular signals and structures. These approaches allow us to tackle fundamental questions of how the spatial organization of molecules in cell is established and how it is utilized to control cell function. CCAM hosts a confluence of expertise in physics, chemistry, software engineering and experimental cell biology immersed in a biomedical research setting that values interdisciplinary collaborations, and our Training Program in Quantitative Cell Biology provides a new model for interdisciplinary training in cell biology. CCAM is the home of the Virtual Cell, a computational environment for cell biological modeling developed as a NIH-designated National Resource, and also hosts a variety of projects in biophotonics and live cell microscope imaging methods as well as a state-of-the-art user microscopy facility for nonlinear, confocal, and widefield microscopy.