The High-dimensional Integration of Biological Systems (HIBS) cluster will augment and enhance the current faculty clusters established as part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program. The cluster is envisioned as the first “Connective Cluster,” designed to focus on high-dimensional data science and integrative approaches that connect existing clusters. The interdisciplinary work of HIBS faculty will create unique data streams and act as a catalyzing force to harness the unrealized translation of these clusters. HIBS faculty will also be fully cohesive, working and communicating closely with each other to bring to the forefront the most current integrative research methods across current disciplines.
The HIBS cluster is expected to have an immediate positive impact on research at NC State, and to provide new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate training. The establishment of the HIBS cluster will further establish the university as a leader in the innovative implementation of the faculty cluster hiring mechanism. Existing clusters will be better equipped to share information and synergies to create an even stronger culture of interdisciplinary research on campus.
The existing clusters in the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program highlight a number of sources of potential synergy. The current cluster mechanism emphasizes interdisciplinarity and interactions within each cluster. A need for faculty working on high-dimensional and integrative analysis was identified, as well as a need to streamline data processing and information-sharing across disciplines. Thus, the HIBS cluster emerged as a way to fill these needs and achieve faculty research goals in alignment with NC State’s strategic plan. HIBS is designed to harness synergy at a faculty level for maximum impact. The cluster will bridge expertise across organismal domains, bring in basic science to practical and translation applications, innovate undergraduate and graduate education, and organize and implement new STEM training mechanisms.