The Computational Science and Engineering FTE initiative includes the subarea of computational biology. Computational molecular biology is closely aligned with bioinformatics, although there is no definition of the two fields that is completely agreed on. Computer Science, ITD and Mathematics contributed preproposals that include some aspects of computational molecular biology, and ITD contributed a preproposal that includes other aspects of computational biology. Clearly, hiring plans in computational molecular biology should be coordinated as much as possible with hiring plans in bioinformatics. This is both to avoid redundant hiring, and to leverage the efforts of both groups.
While there is no perfect way to distinguish between the fields of computational molecular biology and bioinformatics, there is a distinction in the kinds of people who might be hired under the two initiatives. In both cases, it is essential that the people we hire be active in developing methodology, and yet closely aligned with its application in one or more specific biological subareas. However, it is natural to expect that people hired under the bioinformatics initiative might have a greater orientation to the biological applications, while the people hired under the computational science initiative might have a greater orientation to methodological issues. This reflects both the differences in the flavor of the two initiatives, and the fact that people have to be housed in specific departments and sometimes teach in areas other than their research specialty. Still, it may turn out that someone hired in bioinformatics may have their primary training outside of biology, while someone hired in computational biology may have their primary training in biology.