This summer, four Biocomplexity Institute research faculty were recognized as meriting promotion by Virginia Tech’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. These exceptional scholars make up nearly half of the successful candidates announced university-wide.
Each of these faculty has played a unique role in building the interdisciplinary research capabilities of the Biocomplexity Institute. Read the profiles below to learn more about their major accomplishments and individual expertise.
- Abhijin Adiga is a research assistant professor in the Biocomplexity Intitute’s Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory (NDSSL.) Building on an intense interest in network science, game theory, and combinatorics, Adiga earned his PhD from the Indian Institute of Science in 2011. Since joining NDSSL he has played an essential role in developing the laboratory’s advanced simulation systems. He currently serves as a project lead on SPREAD, a USAID-funded research collaboration with Virginia Tech’s Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab, designed to help policymakers analyze the likely impact of invasive species. His paper in AAAI'13 received "Honorable Mention For Outstanding Novelty of Research Question" award.
- Chunhong Mao is a research assistant professor in NDSSL. She developed her interests in biological data analysis and integration throughout her education, earning a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 1997. Mao’s work has consistently guided the development of the Biocomplexity Institute’s database systems, tools, and web applications. Early projects included NodMutDB, a database of genes and mutants involved in symbiosis, and TEfam, a web interface for the submission, retrieval, and analysis of transposable elements in mosquitoes. Her current focus is expanding the functionality of PATRIC, a web-accessible database designed to assist research on infectious pathogens with more than 30,000 regular users around the world.
- Jiangzhuo Chen is a research associate professor in the Biocomplexity Institute’s Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory. His dissertation in computer science at Northeastern University refined a framework for modeling the flow of commodities through complex networks. His research interests include big data analytics, model-based forecasting, and computational economics. Chen’s current projects include the development of several tools used for modeling epidemics, analyzing social network dynamics, and simulating global-scale populations. His work has been published in journals and peer-reviewed conferences, such as Journal of the ACM, PLoS ONE, Computational Economics, JEBO, STOC, and ICS.
- Bryan Lewis is a research associate professor in NDSSL specializing in computational epidemiology. While pursuing his PhD in Virginia Tech’s Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology program, he served as a liaison between the research teams building NDSSL’s simulation software and the governmental organizations use that technology to answer pressing policy questions. Over the past decade, he has helped lead a series of projects to assist policymakers in analyzing potential response strategies to major epidemics including influenza, Ebola, and Zika. Lewis’s expertise on these topics has been cited in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and television news networks around the country. His work has been published in f1000research and Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
August 18, 2016