Meet the Spring 2015 NCSA-CompGen Fellows


The CompGen Fellowship program awards predoctoral fellowships, funded by the NSF and the University of Illinois, to promote interdisciplinary research in computational genomics. Fellows can be either computationally focused doctoral students with a biology co-advisor, or biologically focused doctoral students with a computational co-advisor. The fellowships were initially founded to support research directly relevant to the NSF-funded CompGen instrument, a supercomputer designed exclusively for genomic biology. The fellowship program now also supports fellows in any branch of interdisciplinary computational genomics.

Examples of focus areas in biology and genomics include accurate detection of genomic variation, development of statistical methods and methodologies for metagenomics, improvements in phylogeny reconstruction, enabling drug discovery through the use of microbial genomes, genotype-to-phenotype associations, and behavioral and neurological genomic biology. Computational projects may include topics such as reduction of data volume, optimization of storage hierarchy, identification of primitives that are common across algorithms, visualization and toolkits for computational genomic tools, construction of flexible software platforms that simplify the use of important statistical tools such as HMMs, tool flow optimization, mathematical simulations of genomic problems, and performance and reliability assessment of existing software.

2015 NCSA/CompGen Fellows

Arjun Athreya
Arjun Athreya is enrolled in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Ph.D. program. Previously, he earned a M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Arjun’s research focuses are on the creation and testing of a theoretical model of how life choices and events have long-term impacts on the patterns of gene expression in individuals and their offspring. As a CompGen Fellow, his co-mentors are Professor Ravi Iyer (ECE) and Professor Derek Wildman (Molecular and Integrative Physiology).

Marcelo C. R. Melo
Marcelo C. R. Melo is a graduate student in the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology. Previous degrees are a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences (specialized in Biophysics) and a Master’s Degree in Biophysics, both from the Federal University at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Marcelo’s research as a CompGen Fellow focuses on the partitioning of leucine-tRNA synthetase into its canonical and non-canonical functions using metabolic and spatially resolved models. His advisor is Professor Zan Luthey-Schulten (Chemistry), with his CompGen mentor Professor Susan Martinis (Molecular and Cellular Biology).

See the news release, which provides additional information about the Spring 2015 Fellows.