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Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

We work on a number of exciting computational problems related to major areas of biology, including genomics, proteomics, metagenomics, and phylogenomics. We develop novel techniques that combine ideas from mathematics, computer science, probability, statistics, and physics. We collaborate extensively with biologists, working with them to identify and formalize computational challenges in their domain, and also to experimentally validate novel hypotheses generated by our analyses.

Prof. Warnow’s group is developing algorithms with improved accuracy for large-scale and complex estimation problems in phylogenomics (genome-scale phylogeny estimation), multiple sequence alignment, and metagenomics. Prof. Sinha is primarily interested in gene regulation: developing advanced techniques to predict the diverse function of non-coding parts of DNA and to relate inter-species and inter-personal differences in DNA to differences in the organism’s form and function. Prof. Peng works broadly in development of machine learning techniques for computational biology, and his research spans the areas of molecular and structural biology, networks and systems biology, and molecular mechanisms of human disease. The bioinformatics group also plays a major role in campus-wide research projects such as the NIH Center of Excellence for Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) and the NSF CompGen project.

CS Faculty and Their Research Interests

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