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

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

Tandy Warnow

Warnow elected 2017 International Society for Computational Biology Fellow

February 13, 2017   Tandy Warnow is one of eight international scientists recognized for contributions to advancing the understanding of living systems through computation.
CS Professor Jiang Peng

Tool to map gene's ‘social network’ sheds light on function, interactions and drug efficacy

January 19, 2017   Jian Peng developed a tool to map a gene’s “social network” to help researchers better understand its function and interactions, offering insights into treatment.
William Stafford Noble

Distinguished Lecture Series: William Stafford Noble

November 7, 2016   Dr. William Stafford Noble will discuss several machine learning methods to help biologists make sense of large genomics datasets.

From Computational Genomics To Precision Medicine

October 29, 2016   Precision medicine—using an individual’s specific genetic profile to help prevent, diagnose, and treat disease—seems to be just on the horizon. Read how CS @ ILLINOIS researchers are bringing it closer to a reality.
CS: The Foundation of Modern Life.

CS: The Foundation of Modern Life.

August 29, 2016   The arts, science, business, medicine, and engineering all benefit from the computational power, modeling, and thinking found in computer science. CS @ ILLINOIS faculty are bringing their expertise to bear on vexing issues in a wide variety of fields.