Over the last several years, the College of Information, Science & Technology (IS&T) has developed considerable expertise in the emerging discipline of bioinformatics. IS&T faculty Drs. Hesham Ali, Dhundy (Kiran) Bhastolla, Zhengxin Chen, Parvathi Chundi and Mark Pauley are actively involved in research and teaching in this area. In addition, since 1999 the College has offered both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in bioinformatics in conjunction with the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). In fall 2003, the College began offering a Ph.D. in Information Technology (IT) with a focus on bioinformatics. And, since fall 2004, the College has offered a B.S. degree in bioinformatics - one of few degrees of its kind in the country.
In addition to faculty and student resources, the College has invested heavily in the development of a robust computer infrastructure to support its programs in this area. A number of research projects conducted at UNO in bioinformatics have been externally funded, including $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). The majority of these projects are collaborative efforts between the UNO Bioinformatics Research Group and various UNMC departments.
The bioinformatics projects are supported by a state-of-the-art cluster computing facility and conducted in the Bioinformatics Computing Lab and the Text Data Mining Lab. The results of the research projects have been presented in many international conferences and have produced more than 20 publications in the last three years. Projects funded in this program have supported five Ph.D., eight MS and many undergraduate students.