Sorin Istrail

Sorin Istrail

Julie Nguyen Brown Professor of Computational and Mathematical Sciences and Professor of Computer Science

Contact Information

Box 1910
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Email: sorin at cs.brown.edu
Personal home page:
http://www.cs.brown.edu/~sorin/

Research Areas

Computational Biology
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
Theory of Computation
Statistical Mechanics

Courses Taught

CSCI2950-L   Medical Bioinformatics: Disease Associations, Protein Folding and Immunogenomics
CSCI1950-L   Algorithmic Foundations of Computational Biology

Research Interests

Professor Sorin Istrail’s research focuses on computational molecular biology, medical informatics, statistical physics and complex systems, combinatorial algorithms, and computational complexity. The main projects in his Brown Lab are:
  • Genomic Regulatory Networks -- focusing on sea urchin developmental gene regulatory networks, building a high-resolution transcriptome map of the embryo, inferring logic functions of genomic cis-regulatory code and the principles of information processing of genomic regulation
  • Computational Models of SNPs and Haplotypes -- dealing with HapMap-based analysis tools design for SNP selection, haplotype phasing, and genome-wide disease associations
  • Medical Bioinformatics -- with focus on comparative immunopeptidomics of humans and their pathogens, genetic determinants of sudden cardiac death and human-rabbit comparative genomics, computational support for pathology diagnosis of cancer
  • Building a programming language for genomics
  • Designing protein folding algorithms
  • Continuing John von Neumann's research program towards developing a new computational and information theory for biological systems
  • In 2000, he resolved a longstanding open problem in statistical mechanics, the Three-Dimensional Ising Model Problem; his proof showed the “impossibility” (computational intractability) of deriving closed forms explicit partition functions for every three-dimensional Ising model. Recent work of Prof. Istrail’s research group at Celera Genomics was devoted to algorithmic design and software development for the following areas: genetics of SNPs and haplotypes, high-throughput EST mapping, genomic vaccine design and comparative peptidomics, compu/combichem and protein structure, BLAST-replacement tools, genomic regulatory systems, literature datamining, DNA array design and expression analysis, and theory of games and pharma economic behavior.
    He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computational Biology, Co-Founder of the RECOMB Conference Series, Co-Editor of the MIT Press Computational Molecular Biology Book Series, and Co-Editor of the Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics Book Series.

    All publications by Sorin Istrail