Alumnus Aims to Help Develop UAB’s Informatics Institute

Jake Chen
June 26, 2017

CS&E alumni Jake Y. Chen recently joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine as a full tenured professor of Genetics and Computer Science. At UAB, he aims to help develop the new Informatics Institute as its Associate Director and Chief Bioinformatics Officer. He also serves as Chief of the new Informatics Section of the Genetics Department.

The vision of UAB’s Informatics Institute is to develop an informatics and data sciences research agenda for the future of healthcare. UAB School of Medicine has invested more than $20 million dollars to recruit world-class bioinformatics and clinical informatics faculty members. Since the summer of 2016, Chen has become part of the leadership team to recruit UAB bioinformatics faculty researchers, develop biomedical data sciences and bioinformatics training programs, develop strategies to solve problems facing biomedical researchers, clinicians, and patients at UAB Medicine. The Institute has become a central hub of informatics collaborations with various local and regional centers, which include: UAB Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, UAB Personalized Medicine Institute, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB Center for Genomic Medicine, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. In addition, Chen has been conducting independent research in bioinformatics, systems biology, and biological data mining.

Chen holds both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota. While with the Department, he was advised by Professor John V. Carlis and studied bioinformatics—the science of collecting, representing, storing, retrieving and processing data and knowledge for the improvement of human health—and advancing its use in academic, industrial and entrepreneurial efforts. His research interest is focused on systems biology, data mining, advanced visual analytics for complex human disease applications. Chen has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and edited two bioinformatics books, “Biological Database Modeling” and “Biological Data Mining”. He has organized many Biocomputing conferences, among which the BIOKDD workshop at the Annual ACM Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Conference have been running consecutively for nearly two decades. He is a frequent grant review panelist for NIH, NSF, and DOD in bioinformatics. He was named a MIRA Award finalist as “Indiana’s Technology Educator of the Year” for his contribution to informatics research, education, and entrepreneurship in the state of Indiana.

Prior to joining UAB, Dr. Chen was the founding director of the Indiana Center for Systems Biology and Personalized Medicine at Indiana University since 2007, a tenured bioinformatics faculty at the Indiana University School of Informatics, and a tenured faculty of computer science at Purdue University Department of Computer and Information Science at IUPUI.

Please join the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in extending our congratulations to Dr. Jake Chen.

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