This field develops and deploys tools to help make sense of the vast, complex and diverse data-sets coming from studies in biological and medical science.
Carbon and carbon hybrid electronics offer fundamentally new avenues to solve some of the most important grand challenges of the 21st century. This cluster will work to develop international prominence in carbon-based energy, display and detection technology and computation platforms. It envisions a revolution of interrelated technologies, fostering advances in computing, renewable power sources and energy storage.
Nearly every research field and industry sector is struggling with managing and extracting useful information from massive data sets. Modeling, data management and analytics are key elements in understanding and using these data sets, and their importance in academia and industry is predicted to grow exponentially.
Digital Transformation of Education
This faculty cluster will center on research, development and outreach addressing the dramatic changes required in our education systems to prepare students for the life in the global, digital world of the 21st century. New faculty will extend NC State’s expertise in digital learning in K-12 schools, intelligent tutoring systems, the technologies of virtual games, and research on cognition and human factors within technology-enabled learning environments.
Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security
The world faces a crisis as emerging diseases threaten our global food supply. This cluster will create new knowledge and tools to better understand and counter emerging infectious plant diseases caused by pathogens and pests. Faculty will conduct basic and translational research on emerging pathogens through the value chain in order to mitigate their effects.
Environmental Health Science
There is growing appreciation that human health is strongly influenced by environmental factors, often through complex interaction with the human genetic blueprint. This faculty cluster hire will address population-level effects of environmental factors and the link between environmental exposure and health.
Forensic science is an interdisciplinary realm of critical importance to the safety and security of society, civil and criminal justice, and military activities. New forensic scientists will be hired in focus areas like forensic human DNA, evidence standards and disaster preparedness, textile analytical chemistry, and statistics.
Genetic Engineering and Society
Faculty members will be hired in the social sciences and humanities with specific expertise in examining cultural, policy and economic aspects of genetically modified organisms, including the development and use of transgenic pests to suppress diseases, protect crops, and conserve biodiversity. A longer-term goal is to broaden the program to include other transgenic approaches such as synthetic biology and genetic engineering of livestock.
NC State will create a unique interdisciplinary research and Ph.D. program in geospatial analytics to address the extensive research needs in both basic geospatial sciences and the corresponding computer science and mathematical modeling disciplines. These faculty additions will allow NC State to significantly expand its research initiatives in spatial analytics and algorithmic development and computation, mobile GIS, spatial data mining, and remote sensing.
Global Environmental Change and Human Well-Being
Many of the greatest challenges to humanity in the next century will relate to the effects of global environmental changes – in climate, urbanization, water availability, and loss of biological diversity – on human health and well-being. Faculty hired in areas like quantitative disease ecology, aquatic biodiversity, and evolutionary ecology will aid scientific understanding of major global changes, the impacts of these changes on ecosystems and human well-being, and how we can best manage and adapt to these changes.
Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
A staggering 2.5 billion people across the globe do not have access to adequate sanitation and almost 750 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. Inspired and anchored by international community-based projects, this cluster will explore the scientific, social and policy issues associated with providing sustainable water and sanitation in the developing world.
Innovation and Design
The objectives of the Innovation + Design Initiative are to provide students with opportunities to explore new forms of business innovation and design practice; forge new concepts of design services and practices; teach the skills necessary to bring new products and services to local and global marketplaces; and interact with individuals engaged in the complex process of innovation.
Leadership in Public Science
Communicating the scientific process and not just scientific results to the public is more important than it’s ever been. This cluster will engage the public in the process of science and prepare current and future generations of scientists to communicate their work to public audiences in clear, understandable and actionable terms.
Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities
Life on Earth is sustained by innumerable microbial communities ranging in scale from huge oceanic systems to the gut of an insect. This cluster will focus on research concerning communities associated with crop plants, farm animals, insect pests and the environment. Faculty will create a center of excellence in the analysis and engineering of plant, animal and insect microbiomes and microbial communities.
Modeling the Living Embryo
One of the most fascinating and complex problems in biology concerns the process by which a single cell develops into a living multicellular organism. This cluster will apply precision measurements of molecular, cellular and tissue dynamics in living embryos, along with computer simulation and modeling, to understand the development, growth and diversification of plants and animals.
The goal of personalized medicine is to make optimal treatment decisions for an individual patient based on all information available for that patient, including not only genetic and genomic information but also demographic, physiological, and other clinical factors, allowing the tailoring of treatment to the patient. NC State will focus on the development and implementation of quantitative methods toward this goal.
Sustainable Energy Systems and Policy
The challenge of sustainable energy will not be met by technology alone; society must also simultaneously consider broader economic, public policy and environmental impacts. This cluster will address such societal challenges related to energy sustainability, with a vision to transform NC State into a hub for transdisciplinary research that informs key energy decisions at state, federal and international levels.
Synthetic and Systems Biology
Integrating synthetic and systems biology offers fundamentally new opportunities to solve important challenges like eradicating disease and addressing the globally increasing demands for food and energy in a sustainable environment. The goal is to create new biological factories that will be able to produce materials important for a wide-range of applications including food and feed stocks, industrial chemicals, fuels, and therapeutic agents.
Translational Regenerative Medicine
The goal is to build faculty expertise related to the translational and manufacturing aspects of regenerative medicine, linking the basic and applied research being undertaken at NC State and similar institutions with the clinical needs and expertise at nearby hospitals.
Narrative is a central mode of understanding the world around us. As narrative has expanded into digital media, new possibilities arise for the creation and analysis of powerful visual narratives which increasingly pattern our world. This cluster will enable new forms of scholarship and communication, bridging the expertise of engineers, humanists and designers to establish next-generation applications in visual media.