Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Applies fundamental algorithms and computational methods to problems in biology and biophysics in collaboration with life scientists, medical scientists, and environmental engineers


The Department of Computer Science began to build a faculty group in computational biology and bioinformatics (CBB) 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 Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech to the state's Commonwealth Technology Research Fund. This proposal positioned the department to hire five faculty members in CBB. The CBB group also includes a number of CS faculty with primary expertise in a variety of areas. 

The department encourages graduate students interested in CBB research to pursue the Option in Bioinformatics and to collaborate with CBB and life science faculty to do original research in computational methods applied to biological problems.

The research areas currently represented in CBB include:

  • cancer genomics
  • computational biophysics
  • computational genomics
  • metagenomics
  • modeling and simulation
  • systems biology