The vast molecular biology information resulting from high throughput genomic, proteomic and other ‘omic’ projects challenges the understanding of the role of genes, proteins and other molecules and the use of this knowledge in applications related to health, well-being, agriculture, society, and environment.

The field of bioinformatics encompasses a wide range of research efforts that aim at gaining insights into biological processes through the development and implementation of repositories and tools, and the computational and statistical analysis of biological information. Computational, informatics, statistical, and mathematical resources and technologies are integrated to organize, analyze, and visualize biological data at multiple levels of organization, from molecules and phenotypes to populations and ecosystems.


The Bioinformatics Area of the Ph.D. in Informatics fosters the academic, research, and intellectual development of students on bioinformatics theory and applications important for our understanding biological patterns and processes in the living world, including human, model and agricultural species, and microbes of economic or medical importance.

This Area incorporates coursework in multiple disciplines related to bioinformatics including ‘omic’ themes (i.e. genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, comparative omics), phylogenetics, molecular evolution, evolutionary genomics, statistical genetics, statistical genomics, systems and network biology, quantitative genetics, structural biology, biotext mining, and e-science.


Area LeadsFaculty AffiliatesPhD Students
Name Email Department

Gustavo Caetano-Anolles Crop Sciences

Sandra Rodriguez-Zas Animal Sciences
Name Email Department

Julian Catchen Animal Biology

Alison Bell Animal Biology (SIB)

Alfred Roca Animal Sciences

Anna Kukekova Animal Sciences

Juan Loor Animal Sciences

Sandra Rodriguez-Zas Animal Sciences

Charu Kumar Bioengineering

Paul Jensen Bioengineering

Huimin Zhao Chemistry

Martin Burke Chemistry

Jian Peng Computer Science

Julia Hockenmaier Computer Science

Alexander Lipka Crop Sciences

Donald Bullock Crop Sciences

Gustavo Caetano-Anolles Crop Sciences

Lila Vodkin Crop Sciences

Maria B. Villamil Crop Sciences

Nicolas Martin Crop Sciences

Stephen Long Crop Sciences

Stephen Moose Crop Sciences

Steven Clough Crop Sciences

Gene Robinson Entomology/Institute for Genomic Biology

Hannah Holscher Food Science & Human Nutrition

Margarita Teran-Garcia Food Sciences and Human Nutrition

Mei-Po Kwan Geography

Milton Tan Illinois Natural History Survey

Charles Roseman Integrative Biology

Catherine Blake iSchool

Eunice Santos iSchool

Jing Rui He iSchool

Jodi Schneider iSchool

Vetle Torvik iSchool

Manuel Hernandez Kinesiology & Community Health

Lisa Stubbs MCB

Bruce Schatz Medical Info. Science

Gary Olsen Microbiology

Schuyler Korban NRES

Yuan-Xiang Pan Nutritional Sciences

Amy Marshall-Colon Plant Biology

Surangi Punyasena Plant Biology

Dave Zhao Statistics

Naveen Narisetty Statistics
Name Email Area

Wesley Au Bioinformatics

Bushra Minhas Bioinformatics

Alexandria Tran Bioinformatics

Joseph Troy Bioinformatics

Pan Zhang Bioinformatics


Application CoursesFoundation Courses
Number Title Notes
ANSC 542 Applied bioinformatics Also meets as CPSC 569 and IB 506
ANSC 545 Statistical Genomics Also meets as CPSC 545, IB 507
BIOE 598 Computational Cancer Biology
CHBE 571 Bioinformatics Also meets as ANSC 543, MCB 571, STAT 530
CPSC 558 Quantitative Plant Breeding
CPSC 565 Perl & UNIX for Bioinformatics 2 credit-hour course
CPSC 567 Bioinformatics & Systems Biology
EPSY 589 Categorical Data in Ed/Psyc