Associate Professor Manolis Kellis, a principal investigator at CSAIL where he leads the Computational Biology Group, is tackling the biological problem of understanding human disease with computer science. Kellis and his colleagues are developing new computational methods to search through vast amounts of genetic data looking for clues as to how genes are regulated, information that could prove useful in better understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Kellis’ work applying computer science techniques to biology was inspired by his childhood experience of having to learn several different languages. Born in Athens, Greece, Kellis moved to France at the age of 12 and then to the United States. After learning three languages, Kellis began to notice many similarities between different languages, an observation that inspired his interest in evolution.
For more on Kellis’ work, check out the new MIT News profile here: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/profile-kellis-0417.html.