Brown CS News

Ben Raphael Awarded NSF CAREER Grant

    Brown CS community members continue to win noteworthy grants and awards. To read more articles click here.

    Ben Raphael is the latest faculty recipient of an NSF CAREER award, a highly selective grant that the National Science Foundation awards to junior faculty members who are likely to become academic leaders of the future.

    The project funded by Ben’s CAREER grant aims to develop algorithms for new and emerging high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies. These technologies are lowering the cost of DNA sequencing by orders of magnitude, thereby enabling a variety of new biological applications. Ben plans to: *Develop novel algorithms for assembling complete genome sequences from billions of shorter DNA sequences produced by high-throughput DNA sequencing machines. *Design robust algorithms to characterize differences between individual genomes within a species using an available reference genome of the species. *Introduce combinatorial algorithms for the study of genome rearrangements in heterogeneous mixtures of DNA sequences. Examples of such mixtures are a community of microbes from an environmental sample, or a collection of cancer cells within a tumor.

    The proposed research will be integrated with an educational component that includes the development of an undergraduate seminar in personal genomics, a summer research experience in computational biology for high-school students, and the incorporation of a computational biology module into the Artemis summer computing camp for 9th grade girls.

    The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

    Besides his CAREER award, Ben has also received a Sloan Research Fellowship and a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.