Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

tree of life diagramOur researchers work on core computational biology-related problems, including genomics, proteomics, metagenomics, and phylogenomics. We develop novel techniques that combine ideas from mathematics, computer science, probability, statistics, and physics, and we help identify and formalize computational challenges in the biological domain, while experimentally validating novel hypotheses generated by our analyses.

We are developing algorithms with improved accuracy for large-scale and complex estimation problems in phylogenomics (genome-scale phylogeny estimation), multiple sequence alignment, and metagenomics. We are exploring gene regulation—developing advanced techniques to predict the diverse function of noncoding parts of DNA and to relate interspecies and interpersonal differences in DNA to differences in the organism’s form and function. We work broadly in the development of machine learning techniques for computational biology, with research spanning the areas of molecular and structural biology; networks and systems biology; and molecular mechanisms of human disease.

CS Faculty and Their Research Interests

Mohammed El-Kebir phylogenetics
Jiawei Han data mining for genomics and medical informatics
Jian Peng bioinformatics, protein function & structure, systems biology, machine learning and optimization
Saurabh Sinha bioinformatics, gene regulation, comparative genomics, sequence analysis
Tandy Warnow bioinformatics, multiple sequence alignment, phylogenomics, metagenomics, and historical linguistics
ChengXiang Zhai information retrieval, natural language processing for medical informatics

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Efforts and Groups

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research News

Founder Professor on Engineering Tandy Warnow

Linguistics Paper Co-authored By Warnow Settled Key Questions, Honored for Its Influence

June 11, 2019   Tandy Warnow and collaborator Donald Ringe developed mathematical models that assumed language evolution followed a treelike pattern.
Professor C. David Page

Illinois CS Alum Named Chair of Duke Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Department

March 11, 2019  

The (Duke) Chronicle -- Illinois CS graduate C. David Page (PhD '93), who is now a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will take over in June as chair of Duke University's Department of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics.

Professor Jiawei Han

Professor Jiawei Han Named Aiken Endowed Chair

February 7, 2019   Han is the second-ever Aiken Chair, a position he plans to use to maintain Illinois' leadership in data-mining research.
Incoming Department Head Nancy Amato

Chicago Inno’s 2018 50 On Fire

September 19, 2018  

Chicago Inno -- Incoming Department Head Nancy Amato and Farmers Fridge -- whose CTO is Rajesh Karmani (PhD CS '13)  -- were both part of Chicago Inno's annual 50 on Fire list of people and companies influencing the direction of the Chicago-area tech scene.

A collaboration between the University of Illinois and Mayo Clinic has yielded a tool that makes stronger predictions about what genomic features are associated with specific drug responses.

New Informatics Tool Makes the Most of Genomic Data

July 16, 2018   A collaboration between the University of Illinois and Mayo Clinic has yielded a tool that makes stronger predictions about what genomic features are associated with specific drug responses.