For Immediate Release—Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006
Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
SUNY Geneseo Mathematics Professor
Conducting Groundbreaking Research
Geneseo, N.Y.—Anthony J. Macula, associate professor of mathematics at the State University of New York at Geneseo, is working on three different projects that could have a major impact on how diseases are identified and how computers may be designed in the future.
The first project, "A Two-Dimensional DNA Matrix Based Bio-molecular Computing and Memory," aims to design and process DNA molecules to perform computing operations in a faster and more efficient way than is possible today.
"An integrated circuit in a computer only has so much space," says Macula. "Using DNA molecules as a medium, we are trying to make a computer perform the same operations on a much smaller scale."
Macula's project has the potential to create an increase in computational capacity by up to a billion times the current rate.
The project is funded by a $504,000 grant from the Advanced Computer Architecture Division of United States Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y.
Apart from leading the DNA project, Macula also is the project director for the "Undergraduate Biomathematical Career Initiative Project at SUNY Geneseo."
This project, funded by an $804,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, allows the college to offer undergraduate cross-disciplinary research and training in biomathematics.
Working alongside Macula and co-investigators Gregg Hartvigsen, associate professor of biology; Christopher Leary, professor of mathematics; and Wendy Knapp Pogozelski, professor of chemistry, students have the opportunity to work on lab verification protocols for DNA molecules, software tools for DNA design, biological network analysis and epidemiology.
In addition, Macula works as the director for the SUNY Geneseo sub-contracted project named, "BIO-CAD Tools for DNA Computing." This work is funded by CFD Research Corporation, located in Huntsville, Ala.
The goal of this project is to incorporate the DNA software tool SynDCode into a computer-aided design tool that simulates a biological computer.
"This project is really working to further science," says Macula. "SynDCode may be the best DNA code software in existence, and it can help researchers find, discover and fight diseases."
Macula developed SynDCode with Morgan Bishop, who graduated from Geneseo in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. It is available as freeware at syndcode.geneseo.edu.
Macula, of Geneseo, N.Y., has been teaching mathematics at Geneseo for 13 years. He received his bachelor's degree from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1983 and his Ph.D. from Wesleyan University in 1989.
Written by Joe Mignano, public relations intern in the Office of Communications and Publications.