Message from the Director

A Very Exciting Time to be in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

Over the past two decades, researchers in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (BCB) have been at the forefront of the great changes in our understanding of how biology—and life itself—works. The completion of the sequencing of the human genome has opened a window into a universe with billions of “stars,” each of which participates in the many processes involved in the creation and development of human life.

To date, however, we understand only a small fraction of these processes. Much remains to be discovered, and that makes this a very exciting time to be in the BCB field.

Faculty members at WPI have been conducting research and advising BCB-related projects for more than 15 years. The BCB degree program, which started in 2010, was the result of a shared vision of the direction in which the field is evolving, and where the most critical needs will be for scientists, mathematicians, and engineers in the future.

As the field of biology grows increasingly digital, the life sciences are becoming some of the most important application domains for mathematicians and computer scientists. We designed the BCB program to produce graduates who are confident and comfortable in the language, concepts, and techniques of biology, mathematics, and computer science. While this may make BCB more challenging than studying within a single discipline, the potential rewards are greater for motivated students.

Opportunities for projects, research, internships, and careers in BCB abound. We have a vibrant collaboration with researchers at the nearby University of Massachusetts Medical School. Many biotechnology companies participate in this program—which includes active recruiting of our graduates, whom we expect to be in great demand for many years to come.

Matthew Oliver Ward, PhD
Director, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

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