|Harel Weinstein, D.Sc.|
Physiology, Computational Biophysics, Systems Biology and Bioinformatics
Harel Weinstein, D.Sc. is the Maxwell Upson Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and the Director of the Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. As a Tri-Institutional Professor, he holds professorial appointments at Rockefeller University, Sloan-Kettering Institute and Cornell University. As the founding director of the Institute for Computational Biomedicine (ICB) he has developed it into an academic and research unit responsible for a novel approach to biomedicine that involves the mathematical, physical and computational sciences in combination with engineering and medical informatics. The ICB aims at fundamental study and practical use of the basic, quantitative understanding of physiological function and disease, in an integrative, multi-scale approach based on gene structure and defects responsible for properties and behaviors at all levels–from protein, to cell, tissue and organ. He has received numerous honors and awards, he was elected to the Executive Board of the International Society for Computational Biology in 2006, and President of the Biophysical Society in 2008. He has also served as President of the Association of Chairmen of Departments of Physiology, President of the International Society for Quantum Biology and Pharmacology, Chair of the Biophysics Section of the New York Academy of Sciences and Councilor of the Biophysical Society and of the New York Academy of Medicine. His lab is devoted to studies in molecular and computational biophysics that address complex systems in physiology, and to the development and application of bioinformatics and engineering approaches to systems biology. The Weinstein lab studies complex systems in physiology with methods of molecular and computational biophysics, bioinformatics and mathematical models. The work addresses structural and dynamic mechanisms in fundamental biological processes such as signal transduction, neuronal signaling and regulation of cell growth mechanisms, and the expression of these processes in the physiological functions of tissues and organs. Theoretical and computational methods of biophysics are combined with experimental designs to determine structural and dynamic properties at the molecular level. The processes emerging from the interaction of cellular components described at this molecular level are evaluated with computational simulations of cell function. A current theme centers on the mechanisms of molecular recognition and allostery of micromachines involved in signal transduction — specifically, how this explains macromolecular dynamics, oligomerization and encounter-complex formation in cellular signaling by G protein coupled receptors, neurotransmitter transporters and multidomain scaffolding proteins. The biomedical end points for these particular studies are neurotransmission in health and disease, drug abuse mechanisms and cancer.