Reinhard Laubenbacher
Reinhard Laubenbacher, co-director of the Center for Quantitative Medicine. (Lanny Nagler for UConn Health Center)

In the fall of 2012, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H., recognizing the importance of using quantitative methods to solve problems of human disease, proposed the development of a new Type II research Center for Quantitative Medicine. At the time of the proposal, the center would focus on mathematical modeling and analysis of DNA, RNA, and protein data sets, and large medical data sets, and will be the primary interface between UConn Health and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine initiative. After receiving the necessary approvals from the Dean’s Council and Research Council, recruitment began in earnest for a director of the center.

In May 2013, Reinhard Laubenbaucher, Ph.D., an accomplished and internationally recognized mathematician and systems biologist was recruited to serve as the center’s first co-director. He holds the first joint academic appointment with UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. Dr. Laubenbaucher was tasked with developing the center and recruiting faculty and staff in various research areas including systems biology, genomics, bioinformatics, biomedical informatics, biostatistics and other areas of public health that deal with investigating quantitative approaches to human health and biomedical issues. The goal of the center is to integrate data and quantitative methods across different areas of research, therapeutics and health care practice to develop new medical breakthroughs in discovery.

Shortly after Dr. Laubenbacher’s arrival, space for the center was secured in a newly purchased building along Farmington Avenue which is adjacent to the UConn Health main campus. Planning for the center continued. Several key faculty members joined the faculty in early 2014. Faculty recruitment efforts are ongoing. The newly joined faculty has begun to establish their research laboratories and collaborations with other members of the UConn Health and Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine research community.

Today, the Center includes seven primary faculty and three staff and occupies 5000 square feet of prime office space on the second floor at 195 Farmington Avenue while renovations begin to its permanent 10,000 square feet space on the 3rd floor. The center continues to expand and grow with the addition of other faculty in key areas of quantitative medicine.