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

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.
CS Assistant Professor Jian Peng

New Algorithm Fuses Quality And Quantity In Satellite Imagery

June 4, 2018   Using a new algorithm, University of Illinois researchers may have found the solution to a dilemma plaguing satellite imagery – whether to sacrifice high spatial resolution to generate images more frequently.
Dr. Pavel Pevzner

Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Pavel Pevzner

March 21, 2018   Dr. Pavel Pevzner, the Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD will argue that bioinformatics is rapidly turning into the queen of molecular biology.
Professor Tandy Warnow's first textbook, "Computational Phylogenetics," exposes CS students to algorithms for phylogenetic estimation.

CS and Life Itself: Warnow Authors Textbook on Computational Phylogenetics

March 14, 2018   The text exposes graduate-level CS students to the impact that they can have on phylogenetics – the inference of evolutionary histories and the genetic relationships.
Eight outstanding new faculty members are joining CS @ ILLINOIS during the next academic year.

CS @ ILLINOIS welcomes eight new faculty

September 21, 2017   Eight outstanding new faculty members are joining CS @ ILLINOIS during the next academic year. In total, thirty-six talented teachers and researchers have joined the department since 2013.