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.

Research

Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profiles

Carolina Ruiz
Associate Professor
Computer Science

Carolina Ruiz's research interests are in data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Together with her graduate and undergraduate students, colleagues in computer science and biology, and medical doctors, Ruiz investigates and develops data mining algorithms for genomics and for clinical medicine. In addition to being a faculty member in computer science, she is a founder and active member of the bioinformatics and computational biology program at WPI.

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.

Luis Vidali
Associate Professor
Biology & Biotechnology

I deeply enjoy teaching, in particular conveying the important roles played by plants. It is a great reward when my students realize that plants are more complex and interesting than they anticipated, and they want to learn more. I enjoy that students at WPI are open about thinking in new ways; this critical thinking is the result of intense project-based learning.

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.

Zheyang Wu

Getting Involved

Getting Involved

PhD students are an integral part of the diverse and active campus life at WPI. You can balance your rigorous studies with activities ranging from performing arts to Graduate Student Government. You can also explore interests in areas like programming and biotechnology through our many science and technology clubs.

Students organizing project tasks with sticky notes on a whiteboard

After Graduation

Our program will prepare you to become a leader in the bioinformatics and computational biology research and application. Our graduates find high demand for their unique interdisciplinary mindset within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in government and academia.