Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Applies fundamental algorithms and computational methods to biology and biophysics in service to health care, food production, and epidemiology

The effort to build a faculty group in computational biology and bioinformatics began in 1999. The department was motivated by the desire to create a critical-mass of faculty in this important emerging research area, to diversify its research portfolio through the addition of access to NIH funding, and to become a leading force in the deep and continuing interaction between computer science and the life sciences during the proclaimed "Century of Biology." The department's bioinformatics initiative was launched through a joint proposal by the department and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) to the state's Commonwealth Technology Research Fund. This proposal positioned the department to hire five faculty in bioinformatics. The bioinformatics group has now grown to include 12 core faculty (including four VBI faculty with joint appointments in Computer Science), as well as seven affiliated faculty.