The Computational Biology Department is pleased to announce that Carl Kingsford, the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Computer Science in the Computational Biology Department, has assumed the co-directorship of the Carnegie Mellon-University of Pittsburgh Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology (CPCB). Prof. Kingsford will work with his counterpart, program co-Director Prof. James Faeder of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Computational and Systems Biology, in managing the program through the next phase of its evolution.
Dr. Kingsford comes to the program with considerable experience in computational biology research and education. Dr. Kingsford is an internationally recognized leader in algorithms and artificial intelligence for biomedical research, as well the founder of the computational biology startup Ocean Genomics. He previously served as an Associate Director of the CPCB and has been active in the program in many other capacities, most recently as chair of its admissions committee. He has also previously served as co-Director of the Carnegie Mellon M.S. in Computational Biology program. He has been an innovator in the classroom, having designed several of the Computational Biology Department’s most popular course offerings, including Advanced Algorithms and Data Structures, Programming for Scientists, and String Algorithms.
Dr. Kingsford will be taking over the co-Directorship from Prof. Ziv Bar-Joseph, the FORE Systems Professor of Machine Learning and Computational Biology, who co-directed the program since 2017. In his more than four years of service, Dr. Bar-Joseph has seen the program through an exciting period of growth, modernization for an ever-changing scientific landscape, and adaptation to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The CPCB was founded in 2005 through a partnership of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh through the leadership of Prof. Robert Murphy of Carnegie Mellon and Prof. Ivet Bahar of the University of Pittsburgh. The program began as one of ten innovative new interdisciplinary graduate programs supported by the Interfaces Initiative, a joint effort of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It has been continually supported since by a training grant from the NIBIB. The program has set a standard for computational biology education, offering rigorous training at the intersection of the sciences and computing and research opportunities in the laboratories of over 100 training faculty members between the two universities. It has grown into one of the largest and most competitive programs for dedicated doctoral training in computational biology, with 89 current students and more than 80 alumni to date who hold a diverse array of computational biology positions in academia, government, health care, the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries, and beyond.
We are grateful for Dr. Bar-Joseph’s service to the program and excited to welcome Dr. Kingsford as the new co-Director.