WPI’s PhD program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) will prepare you to become a new type of scientist who can model complex biological processes and analyze and interpret the staggering volume of biological data arising from endeavors such as the Human Genome Project.

Our program is truly interdisciplinary, enabling you to develop expertise across three key fields of study: Biology, Computer Science, and Mathematics. You will become well versed in all three as you work alongside our expert faculty researchers to create and apply the tools and algorithms necessary to predict, prevent, and cure disease, and to solve pressing environmental problems.

bioinformatics

Curriculum

You will work closely with a faculty advisor to plan an interdisciplinary course of study and research tailored to your background and interests. Through core courses, you will achieve a strong foundation in Biology, Computer Science, and Mathematics. You can also study advanced topics, including biovisualization, biomedical database mining, simulation in biology, and statistical methods in genetics and bioinformatics.

You will gain career-boosting experiences through a required teaching and mentoring component, professional skills seminar, and optional internship with an industry partner.

Exploring Complex Biological Networks in 3D

Research

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Students in WPI’s bioinformatics program learn cutting-edge approaches in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, systems biology, high-performance computing, big data mining, and vis
Students in WPI’s bioinformatics program learn cutting-edge approaches in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, systems biology, high-performance computing, big data mining, and visualization.

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In addition to wet labs and facilities at UMMS, students may access resources in WPI’s Visualization Laboratory, Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory, Database Systems Laboratory, and in several powerful computer clusters.
In addition to wet labs and facilities at UMMS, students may access resources in WPI’s Visualization Laboratory, Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory, Database Systems Laboratory, and in several powerful computer clusters.

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Students apply varied approaches to understand genetic and infectious diseases, prevent ecological disasters, develop new drugs and computational diagnostics tools, and explore new biological phenomena.
Students apply varied approaches to understand genetic and infectious diseases, prevent ecological disasters, develop new drugs and computational diagnostics tools, and explore new biological phenomena.

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Biology, computer science, and mathematics—these disciplines contribute to advances in biological and biomedical science. At WPI, collaboration between disciplines leads to greater discoveries.
Biology, computer science, and mathematics—these disciplines contribute to advances in biological and biomedical science. At WPI, collaboration between disciplines leads to greater discoveries.

Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profiles

Dmitry Korkin

Dmitry Korkin

Associate Professor
Computer Science

My research is interdisciplinary and spans the fields of bioinformatics of complex disease, computational genomics, systems biology, and biomedical data analytics. We bring expertise in machine learning, data mining and massive data analytics to study molecular mechanisms underlying genetic disorders, such as cancer, diabetes, and autism, and deadly infections, such as pandemic flu. Our approaches benefit from integrating Next Generation Sequencing, high-throughput interactomics, and structural biology data.

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Elizabeth F. Ryder

Elizabeth Ryder

Associate Professor
Biology & Biotechnology

I have a long-standing interest in applying computer science and mathematics to solve biological problems. I am currently the Associate Director of WPI’s Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and I am always looking for students with interests in this exciting interdisciplinary area. One of my goals in teaching biology is to help students to think more quantitatively about biological questions. A few years ago, my colleague Dr. Brian White of UMass Boston and I were awarded a grant from the NSF to develop a course, “Simulation in Biology”.

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Amity L. Manning

Amity Manning

Assistant Professor
Biology & Biotechnology

Work in my lab is focused on defining the cellular mechanisms that maintain genome stability in normal cells and understanding how these pathways are corrupted in cancer cells.

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Carolina Ruiz

Carolina Ruiz

Associate Professor and Associate Department Head
Computer Science

Carolina Ruiz's research interests are in machine learning, artificial intelligence and data mining. Together with her graduate and undergraduate students, Dr. Ruiz has worked on numerous interdisciplinary research projects with clinicians from the University of Massachusetts Medical School on developing and using machine learning algorithms over clinical and behavioral patient data.

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Scarlet Shell

Scarlet Shell

Assistant Professor
Biology & Biotechnology

I have a passion for understanding how living systems work, as well as for sharing my love of biology and research with the next generation of scientists and informed citizens.

The central goal of my lab is to understand the regulatory mechanisms that underlie mycobacterial stress tolerance. We combine genetics, genomics, transcriptomics and biochemistry to understand how mycobacteria respond to, and ultimately survive, stressful conditions.

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Zheyang Wu

Zheyang Wu

Associate Professor
Mathematical Sciences

Professor Wu's research interest lies in applying the power of statistical science to promote biomedical researches. In statistical genetics, he is developing novel statistical theory and methodology to analyze genome-wide association (GWA) data and deep (re)sequencing data to hunt new genetic factors for complex human diseases. In epigenetics, he is studying gene expression regulation mechanisms through chromatin interaction, and RNA silencing pathways in the developmental stages of germ-line cells.

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Getting Involved

After Graduation