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Modeling, simulation, high-end computing and data analysis, for information-based knowledge discovery.
Combining engineering methods with molecular biology, leading to synthesis of new functional materials, molecular machines, and therapeutics.
A multidisciplinary and holistic view of the living systems that moves beyond molecular link scales to understand biological complexity at multiple levels.
CLS in the context of Emory's Strategic Plan.
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Computational and Life Science

The Computational and Life Sciences Strategic Initiative at Emory University explores new scientific frontiers at the interface of computation, synthetic sciences and systems biology.

Overview | Emory's Strategic Plan | The Three Pillars of CLS | Pragmatics

The convergence of "Omics" (Genomics/Proteomics/Glycomics), Synthetic Sciences, and Informatics/Computer Science is rapidly transforming our ability to understand and positively influence our lives and the world around us. The intertwining of basic science with applied fields such as biomedical engineering and robotics is the first stage of a knowledge revolution that will lead to remarkable advances of great societal importance. The Computational and Life Sciences (CLS) Initiative at Emory represents the basic science arm of that revolution. It will establish a community of scholars that integrates the science disciplines and spearheads innovative methodologies that combine computational and synthetic approaches to science.

Emory's Strategic Plan

CLS is a theme-based initiative within Emory University's strategic plan to be "a destination university, internationally recognized as an inquiry-driven, ethically engaged, and diverse community ..." (see Emory's Vision Statement). One of the five major themes of the Strategic Plan is "Exploring New Frontiers in Science and Technology", of which CLS is a part, along with sister initiatives in Predictive Health and Neuroscience. For a comprehensive look at Emory's Strategic Plan, including School and Unit summaries, please visit the strategic plan website.

The Three Pillars of CLS

Computational and Life Sciences (CLS) seeks to capture new intellectual frontiers by integrating three diverse pillars of modern scientific discovery:

Computational Science & Informatics – modeling, simulation, high-end computing/ data analysis, for information-based knowledge discovery and synthesis. Algorithms, database theory, statistics, numerical methods, and systems design form core elements of CLS.

Synthetic Sciences – combining design, construction and engineering in physical sciences with molecular biology leads naturally to a synthetic biology; an approach that spans synthetic chemistry and condensed matter physics to exploit adaptive evolutionary principles for the generation of new functional materials, molecular machines and therapeutics.

Systems Biology – holistic exploration of living systems across multiple scales, from molecular to cellular, organ, individual and population. High-throughput, quantitative technologies will underpin a network-level understanding of interacting components, enabling a predictive science that unifies and enriches CLS.


CLS represents an integrative entity to foster interdisciplinary scholarship at Emory – through bridging-needs that complement and significantly enhance ongoing efforts in computational and life sciences. Through new faculty, programs, facilities, and processes the initiative will catalyze explorations in the three focus areas within departments/schools and will leverage cooperation and resource sharing among the many scientific service cores at Emory. The overarching goal is to model a scientific endeavor spanning and interconnecting computational science and informatics, synthetic science, and systems biology in which the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts of individual laboratories, departments, and research groups.

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