Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Our 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
|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
- Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB)
- Comp-Gen Initiative in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
- KnowEnG, an NIH Center for Excellence for Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
- Midwest Big Data Hub
- National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research News
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.
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.
Technology Networks -- A new computational tool developed by University of Illinois researchers -- including CS Professor Saurabh Sinha -- and the Mayo Clinic combines genomic information to make stronger predictions about what genomic features are associated with specific drug responses.