Computing That Serves

Introduction to Computational Biology: Whole Genome Algorithms and the Analysis of Genetic Regulatory Networks


Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 11:00am


Quinn Snell & Mark Clement
Computational Sciences Lab, Computer Science, BYU

Recent advances in biological sciences continue to generate more and more whole genome data. Within 5 years, a whole human genome will be able to be sequenced for $100. New sequencing technology will produce terabytes of genomic data per day. With this exponentially increasing amount of data, efficient computational algorithms and software tools are absolutely necessary to study life at the genome level.  Bioinformatics or Computational Biology is the computational study of the genome for: personalized medicine, determining the causes of diseases, the study of how organisms are related, and understanding of the processes of life. It involves the development of combinatorial search algorithms, string algorithms, databases, statistical modeling, and advanced heuristics.  Drs. Quinn Snell and Mark Clement will present an introduction to Computational Biology and the research conducted in the Computational Sciences Laboratory and BYU. In particular, they will address whole genome algorithms and the analysis of genetic regulatory networks.


Mark Clement received his PhD in Computer Science from Oregon State University in 1994. His BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering are from Brigham Young University. For the last 4 years, Dr Clement has been pursuing research into Down Syndrome.  He has worked with students to develop gene regulatory network databases and network inference algorithms to provide insights into how having three copies of the genes on Chromosome 21 cause the problems associated with Down Syndrome.

Quinn Snell graduated with a PhD in Computer Science from Iowa State University in 1997. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science from Utah State University. He is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. Quinn worked for the Department of Energy at Ames Laboratory while pursuing his PhD. During that time, Quinn received an R&D 100 award for one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of 1995.