About the Department
Advances in biomedicine depend upon innovation in recognizing complex associations between increasingly higher-dimensional data points from biological systems. Providing this innovation is the core task of bioinformatics. Previously understood as the ‘computational branch of genetics and genomics’, bioinformatics is fast becoming an overarching science of biomedical information processing. The Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics seeks to generate the intellectual and technical infrastructure required to integrate vastly diverse data types into models for the purpose of i) explaining biomedical processes from the molecular to the human scale and ii) predicting future outcomes of process interventions from current observations.
The foundation of the research programs in our Department is mathematics and computer science. Within our own labs and in collaborations across campus, we also engage in the development of experiments that enable and amplify the explanatory and predictive power of our computational models. Our Department is therefore home to theoreticians and experimentalists alike, who share a passion for the scientific exploration of uncharted territory in biomedicine through mathematical formalism and computation. The BioHPC, a world-class academic computing facility, is housed within our Department and employs a team of scientists dedicated to enabling computationally-driven research in the environment of a major academic medical center. In Spring 2021, the Department also integrated the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Systems Biology, which focuses on probing, modeling and programming of genetic and molecular circuits in cancer and bacteria.
Our Department strives for team-work and team-education. Organized around the grant-funded research programs of our faculty, we generate platforms for cross-departmental and cross-institutional research and training. All members of our Department benefit from a climate of openness, peer-to-peer support in absence of hierarchical structure, and the belief in collective excellence.
- Dr. Jian Zhou awarded the NIH Director's New Innovator Award to leverage artificial intelligence for examining the three-dimensional structure of DNA and its impact on health. Watch his video interview.
- Dr. Bo Li and Dr. Wenxin Zheng awarded the Pilot Synergy Grant from the Circle of Friends for the project titled Clinical Significance of Separating Risk Levels of Ovarian Breast Cancer for BRCA1 Carriers.
- Vyom Raval, an undergraduate through the UTSW Green Fellows and SURF programs at the Deep Learning For Precision Health Lab, leads a scientific manuscript titled Pitfalls and Recommended Strategies and Metrics for Suppressing Motion Artifacts in Functional MRI published in Neuroinformatics, 2022.
- The Department re-launched the Nanocourses in 2022 to offer focused training on key topics of bioinformatics to the UTSW community and beyond.
- Members of the department established a committee to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within all departmental endeavors. Visit our DEI page.