The Computer Science & Engineering Department is proud to announce that Associate Professor Jinbo Bi recently received a $1.12 million R01 award from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for her project entitled: “Quantitative Methods to Subtype Drug Dependencies and Detect Novel Genetic Variants“. Dr. Bi, the Principal Investigator of the research grant covering four years, has a joint appointment at UConn Health School of Medicine in the Department of Community Medicine and Healthcare. Her collaborators include Henry R. Kranzler, M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Joel Gelernter, M.D. from Yale University and Victor Hesselbrock, Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut Health Center. This accomplishment shows the exceptional cross disciplinary research that takes place at the University.
Substance dependence is clinically and etiologically heterogeneous. The differentiation of homogeneous subtypes of drug use, related behaviors, and co-occurring medical problems could improve the identification of genetic variation that underlies the risk for substance dependence. Dr. Bi’s project aims to develop novel statistical models and methods that can identify subtypes of substance dependence with confirmatory evidence from both clinical symptoms and genetic associations.