Computational Genomics

Computational genomics is a major focus of the department. Computational genomics involves the application of techniques from the fields of computer science and statistics to problems in genomics. A single data set in genomics can routinely provide more than a million measurements, often necessitating the need for innovative computational methods to extract the desired knowledge from such data. 

Over the past two decades, advances in genomics have significantly contributed to our understanding of disease.  In 2005, there were only a handful of genes implicated in diseases. Today, there are more than 150,000 genes implicated in human disease. The genomics community was a driver of this period of discovery.   What we learned about the underlying genetic component of the disease will be the blueprint for the future of medical research. 

Faculty in the department have pioneered computational approaches that have had a major impact on a variety of areas of genomics. Department faculty have developed influential techniques for identifying disease-associated genetic loci, variants, and genes. They have also made key contributions to methods widely used for annotating and understanding the non-coding genome. Active areas of research in computational genomics within the department include disease genetics, population genetics, epigenomics, regulatory genomics, microbiome, and single-cell analysis, among others. Computational Medicine faculty are playing a key role in efforts to advance the application of genomics within the UCLA Health System. 

On the educational side, the department and its faculty have leadership roles in the Computational Genomics Summer Institute, the Bruins in Genomics Summer undergraduate research program, and the UCLA undergraduate Bioinformatics minor, and teach and mentor students in several UCLA PhD programs who work in computational genomics.