Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease

The COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease embraces the age of genomics medicine from an explicitly data-driven, computational perspective. By building a collaborative Center of empirical and computational scientists, we advance new discoveries, algorithms, and genomic screening approaches with direct relevance to several human diseases. This is consistent with NIH's mission of supporting bioinformatics and computational biology to advance all areas of biomedicine.

  • Computational and Analytical Methodologies

    The center will evolve a culture where computational expertise and biological research are blended within each research group, and not siloed into distinct collaborating teams.

    Students and postdocs in Sohini Ramachandran’s lab are developing new computational and analytical methodologies to identify risk genes for leukemia that differ in incidence across ethnic groups and genders.

  • Collaboration between empirical and computational biologists

    The underlying principle of this Center is that close collaboration between empirical and computational biologists with common challenges in the analysis of large data sets can accelerate the implementation of translational medicine.

    Shipra Vaishnava uses microbiome profiling of germ-free mice models to better understand irritable bowel disease and explore interactions between intestinal bacteria and the immune system.

  • PEGASUS: the Precise, Efficient Gene Association Score Using SNPs

    PEGASUS is a freely available software package, released by Nakka et al. (2016, Genetics), for combining SNP-level p-values into gene scores and conducting gene-level association tests with a phenotype of interest. PEGASUS computes gene scores of association analytically and produces gene scores with as much as 10 orders of magnitude higher numerical precision than competing methods.

Message from the Director

  • David Rand, PhD

    Director of COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease

    Co-Director of Computational Biology Core

    Welcome to the Brown University COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease.  We are grateful to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) for the support to establish this Center and allow us to build a computational biology infrastructure for the greater Brown and hospital environments that will benefit the study of human disease across all of Rhode Island. This Center provides a centralized service to assist researchers in computational, bioinformatic, and data management challenges of analyzing large data sets made available by modern "omics" technologies.  In addition, this funding will support the research activities of junior investigators to ensure their transition to stand-alone extramurally funded research scientists.  We use an innovative joint mentoring process, where each junior faculty member is advised by both computational and biological or clinical senior faculty members. In addition, staff in our Computational Biology Core will be active members of each of these laboratory groups to better integrate all phases of the research activities.

Featured Research

Incorporating Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Genomic Studies of Disease

Sohini Ramachandran, PHD Manning Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Computational Genomics of Preeclampsia

Alper Uzun, PHD Assistant Professor of Pediatric Research

Spatial and Functional Organization of Intestinal Microbiome

Shipra Vaishnava, PHD Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology