Computational Biology

2014-15 Tuition

$29,500

Application deadlines

Dec. 1

Requirements summary

Please see the field's Ph.D. program page, www.cb.cornell.edu/phd/.

Degrees

  • Ph.D.

Subjects

  • computational biology (Ph.D.)

Major concentrations

  • computational behavioral biology
  • computational biology
  • computational cell biology
  • computational ecology
  • computational genetics
  • computational macromolecular biology
  • computational organismal biology

Computation has become essential to biological research. Genomic databases, protein databanks, MRI images of the human brain, and remote sensing data on landscapes contain unprecedented amounts of detailed information that are transforming almost all of biology. The computational biologist must have skills in mathematics and computation as well as in biology. A key goal in training is to develop the ability to relate biological processes to computational models.
 
The field provides interdisciplinary training and research opportunities in a range of subareas of computational biology involving topics such as DNA and protein databases, protein structure and function, computational neuroscience, biomechanics, population genetics, and management of natural and agricultural systems.

Students majoring in computational biology are expected to obtain a broad, interdisciplinary knowledge of fundamental principles in biology, computational science, and mathematics. But because the field covers a wide range of areas, it would be unrealistic to expect a student to master each facet in detail. Instead, students choose from specific subareas of study: they are expected to develop competence in at least one specific subdomain of biology (i.e., genetics, macromolecular biology, cellular biology, organismal biology, behavioral biology or ecology) and in relevant subareas of computational science and mathematics. 
Students are supervised by field faculty drawn from sixteen departments.

Adam Bogdanove -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: functional genomics of plant interactions with plant pathogenic bacteria, especially rice with Xanthomonas oryzae; role of TAL effects in plant disease and applications for disease control and DNA targeting, including genome editing
James Booth -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: Linear Models; generalized linear models; random effects; Monte Carlo methods; bioinformatics
Adam Boyko -- Concentrations: computational biology; computational genetics; Research interests: genetics of adaptation and domestication; bioinformatics
Andrew Clark -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: Computational biology
Thomas Cleland -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: computational neurobiology; perception; cognition; olfaction
Evan Cooch -- Concentrations: computational ecology; Research interests: methods for quantitative analysis and management of population dynamics; theoretical ecology
Charles Danko -- Concentrations: computational biology; computational genetics; Research interests: transcriptional regulation, epigenetics, evolution of gene regulation
Shimon Edelman -- Concentrations: computational behavioral biology; Research interests:
Stephen Ellner -- Concentrations: computational ecology; Research interests: theoretical and computational population biology
David Field -- Concentrations: computational behavioral biology; Research interests: theories and models of sensory coding and visual processing; visual perception; relations between the structure of the natural environment and the representation of that environment by sensory systems
Zhenglong Gu -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: molecular evolution; comparative genomics; evolution of S. cerevisiae; nutrition and metabolism
John Guckenheimer -- Concentrations: computational ecology; Research interests: analysis of dynamical systems, especially neural systems
Giles Hooker -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: machine learning; statistical inference for nonlinear systems in biology
Ronald Hoy -- Concentrations: computational organismal biology; computational behavioral biology; Research interests: mechanisms of hearing in animals (insects) neuroanatomy; development; behavioral neurobiology
Alon Keinan -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: human population genetics; demographic inference
Michael King -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: adhesive interactions of flowing cells
Jon Kleinberg -- Concentrations: computational behavioral biology; Research interests: combinatorial structure of networks and information, with applications to computational biology
Christiane Linster -- Concentrations: computational organismal biology; Research interests: neural basis of sensory processing and memory
Hod Lipson -- Concentrations: computational biology; computational ecology; Research interests: evolutionary robotics and artificial life; evolutionary computation
Jason Locasale -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: metabolic signal transduction; metabolic adaptation to oncogenes; metabolic control of epigenetics and cell fate; mass spectrometry and metabolomics; warburg effect and cancer cell metabolism; computational techniques
Julius Lucks -- Concentrations: computational biology; computational genetics; Research interests: biomolecular engineering, RNA biology, computational cell biology
Susan McCouch -- Concentrations: computational biology; computational genetics; Research interests: plant breeding; plant genetics
Philipp Messer -- Concentrations: computational biology; computational genetics; Research interests:
Jason Mezey -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: quantitative genetics/genomics; statistical genetics; computational biology; pathway modeling; molecular evolution
Christopher Myers -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: systems biology; dynamic modeling
Richard Rand -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: nonlinear dynamics of biological systems
Hudson Reeve -- Concentrations: computational behavioral biology; Research interests: behavioral ecology; plasticity in insect social behavior
David Ruppert -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: statistical modeling in biology; Bayesian statistics; functional data analysis
Frank Schroeder (Minor Member) -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests:
James Sethna -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: condensed-matter theory; dynamics of proteins; RNA; and DNA in the cell
David Shalloway -- Concentrations: computational macromolecular biology; Research interests: global optimization for predicting protein structure and motion
Xiling Shen -- Concentrations: computational biology; Research interests: systems biology; caulobacter; regulatory network
David Shmoys -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: efficient algorithms for discrete optimization with applications in computational biology
Christine Shoemaker -- Concentrations: computational ecology; Research interests: population modeling and optimization; including application to bacteria involved in groundwater remediation
Adam Siepel -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: comparative genomics; molecular evolution; population genetics; probabilistic graphical models
Patrick Sullivan -- Concentrations: computational ecology; Research interests: spatial and temporal statistical modeling and assessment of populations and communities
Marjolein van der Meulen -- Concentrations: computational cell biology; Research interests: orthopedic biomechanics of bone adaptation to mechanical stimuli
Jane Wang -- Concentrations: computational organismal biology; Research interests: physics of organisms; insect flight, computational and mathematical modeling of complex dynamics; movement and perception
Martin Wells -- Concentrations: computational genetics; Research interests: applications of statistics in biology
Amy Williams -- Concentrations: computational biology; computational genetics; Research interests:
Haiyuan Yu -- Concentrations: Research interests: quantitative and experimental systems biology; functional and comparative genomics; disease prognosis analysis

Graduate School Professors (emeritus)

Harold Scheraga -- Concentrations: Research interests: physics-based methods to compute protein structure from amino acid sequence

Learning Assessment in Computational Biology


1. Overview
Computational Biology (CB) is a growing young graduate field at Cornell, launched in 2006 and now home to 22 graduate students. The field is highly interdisciplinary, and includes 34 faculty members from more than a dozen departments. The CB graduate field currently has only one degree program: the Ph.D. program in Computational Biology.


The CB graduate field is closely associated with the Tri-Institutional Program in Computational Molecular Biology (CBM; http://www.triiprograms.org/cbm/), which is run jointly by Cornell-Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). All CBM students spend their first academic year taking courses in Ithaca, and during this time they are officially enrolled in the CB field. Starting in their second year, CBM students join laboratories either in Ithaca or in New York City. If they choose to stay in Ithaca, they remain enrolled in the CB field; otherwise they are administratively accommodated by graduate programs at WCMC or MSKCC. CBM students who remain in Ithaca must meet all requirements of the CB field, as well as some additional requirements of the CBM program. At present, the majority of CB students (all but 5) are enrolled via the CBM program.

For more information about the Computational Biology Assessment Plan.

For more information rubrics go to Computational Biology.