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Biological Modeling Innovator Joins Health Information Sciences School
Vittorio Cristini, Ph.D., known worldwide for his use of computer models to simulate complex tumors, is now an associate professor in The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.
“He is a pioneer in simulating both normal and pathological biological processes,” said Jack W. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the school. “What’s particularly exciting is his ability to combine simulations at many levels of biology, from molecular through tissue.”
This emerging field of research is called “in silico,” or computer modeling, and involves use of high-powered computers to replicate anatomical processes that are difficult to recreate both in the laboratory and in living beings.
Cristini’s three-dimensional models are used currently for biological experiments. But, in the not-too-distant future, they may be used to predict tumor growth in patients, as a well as a patient’s expected response to therapy.
“He is a prime example of the type of faculty who are going to lead in the use of simulation for customized treatment of patients and the discovery of new treatments appropriate to disease,” Smith said.
Cristini earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from Yale University and an undergraduate degree with “La Sapienza” honors in nuclear engineering at the University of Rome. Before joining the UT School of Health Information Sciences, he was a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine.
His honors include an award from the American Institute of Physics and recently being named a Fellow of the American Association of Nanomedicine. His studies in the Journal of Computational Physics and the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology are among the most cited articles. Another paper was selected by the editor of Cancer Research to appear in highlights of that journal because of the paper’s importance.
Cristini also has collaborated on research publications with Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for NanoMedicine at The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM).
Founded in 1997, the UT School of Health Information Sciences combines computer sciences and engineering with the biological and cognitive sciences to better address today’s health care problems through better data management, analysis and transmission.
By Rob Cahill, Institutional Advancement
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