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Research on model systems in the Program in Model Systems Biology includes basic and applied studies on a wide variety of organisms, including many inhabiting freshwater and marine environments.  They include novel archaeal and bacterial microorganisms with applications ranging from radiation resistance to bioremediation and biofuels, understanding the bases of host- parasite interaction using Chesapeake Bay oysters and their pathogens, primitive fishes like lamprey and their novel immunoglobulins, which have applications in biomedicine, and developmental and stem cell biology of vertebrate models like zebrafish.  These research lines constitute a significant and valuable research portfolio in non-human model systems at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine.  The Program in Model Systems Biology uses the most advanced tools of modern research to study marine, estuarine, and medical model systems. A major goal of the Program is to build a world-class research center and derive valuable benefits in molecular and cellular biology, medicine, and biotechnology. 

The Program in the Biology of Model Systems at the Columbus Center is highly complementary to research in other departments, programs, centers, and institutes at the School of Medicine.  These complementary research programs include investigations on many other models, such as the fruit fly, worm, yeast, plants, and mammals.  Much of the potential of on-going work in model systems is driven by cutting-edge genomic and post-genomic technologies, in which the University of Maryland is a leader.