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

Nancy M. Amato Modeling Molecular Motions, Protein Folding, Protein/Ligand Binding
Mohammed El-Kebir Bioinformatics, Cancer Genomics, Cancer Phylogenetics, Phylodynamics, Phylogeography, Information Visualization
Jiawei Han Mining Biological Text, Biological Named Entity and Relation Extraction
Jian Peng Bioinformatics, Protein Function and Structure, Systems Biology, Machine Learning and Optimization
Saurabh Sinha Bioinformatics, Genomics, Modeling, Sequence Analysis, Machine Learning, Probabilistic Methods, Cancer, Behavior
Jimeng Sun (Joining Spring 2020) Deep Learning for Drug Discovery, Molecule Property Prediction and Generation, Genomic & Phenotypic Modeling
Tandy Warnow Graph Algorithms, Statistical Estimation, Heuristics for NP-Hard Optimization Problems, Phylogenomics, Metagenomics, Multiple Sequence Alignment, Historical Linguistics
ChengXiang Zhai Intelligent Biomedical Decision Support Systems, Analysis of Electronic Medical Records, Biomedical Literature Retrieval and Mining

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Efforts and Groups

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research News

International consortium of researchers generates gene sequences from more than 1100 plant species.

Study Provides Framework for 1 Billion Years of Green Plant Evolution

October 23, 2019   Prof. Tandy Warnow helps an international consortium construct a large evolutionary tree of green plants, using advanced algorithms.
Five accomplished Illinois Computer Science master’s students have been recognized for their academic achievements and leadership.

Meet the Siebel Scholars Class of 2020

October 2, 2019   Five accomplished Illinois Computer Science master’s students have been recognized for their academic achievements and leadership.
New faculty bring expertise in everything from natural language processing, robotics, and security to biomedical informatics.

Illinois CS Adds Eight New Faculty, Broadening Expertise in NLP, Security, Robotics, and More

September 5, 2019   New faculty bring expertise in everything from natural language processing, robotics, and security to biomedical informatics.
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.