- WPI scientists are using visualization tools and mixed reality to explore complex biological networks, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections so complex and dense it’s been dubbed the “hairy ball.” Dmitry Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science and director of the university’s bioinformatics and computational biology program, leads the research team.
From sequencing the human genome to modeling living organisms, biology has gone digital, and WPI’s Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (BCB) program is at the forefront of this digital revolution.
Bioinformatics involves the collection, management, and analysis of biological data; Computational Biology is the development of quantitative models of biological systems. While many schools offer BCB as a concentration within a traditional Biology program, WPI’s program comprises three academic departments: Biology, Computer Science, and Mathematics.
Our program’s diverse environment encourages a collaborative mindset and access to a broad range of resources that promote creative solutions to pressing scientific questions. Undergraduate and graduate students work alongside expert faculty researchers to use cutting-edge, quantitative techniques to increase our understanding of biology and translate this knowledge into meaningful solutions.
Degrees & Certificates
|Area of Study||Bachelor||Minor||Certificate||Master||PhD|
A message from Elizabeth F. Ryder
Director, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
We designed WPI’s BCB Program to educate students to feel comfortable in the language, concepts, and techniques of three distinct disciplines: biology, mathematics, and computer science. We also developed courses that overlap two or more of these disciplines, each centered on different aspects of the theories, concepts, techniques, and tools of bioinformatics and computational biology. This interdisciplinary training is exciting and rewarding, and allows students many opportunities to tackle challenging biological problems.
Finding Patterns that Can Improve Sleep
BCB Professor Carolina Ruiz designs data mining algorithms to discover patterns in large collections of data. She is developing computational models for the purpose of advancing the treatment of sleep disorders.
WPI Graduate Student Impresses at Dublin Conference
BCB graduate student Alyssa Tsiros won an honorable mention at the Symposium on Biological Data Visualization in Dublin, Ireland, for her biovisualization depicting the evolution of noncoding RNA in the Human accelerated region 1, a recently discovered gene that may be responsible for the accelerated brain development of humans compared to other mammals. Tsoris’s project stood out for effectively using color-coded arc diagrams to depict genetic data.
With their robust cross-disciplinary knowledge and hands-on project experiences, BCB graduates are well prepared for rewarding careers across a wide variety of industries. Our graduates assume leadership roles in positions in federal and state government, higher education, research and development, and the pharmaceutical industry. The average starting salary in 2015 was $66,500.
In the News
“The app collects data on individual species of bee and flowers and allows us to figure out what the individual needs of the species are ... so people can make changes to their yard, learn what flowers to plant, and tell us how do we conserve lands to increase bee diversity,” Robert Gegear, professor of biology and biotechnology, told the T&G.