Computational Genomics and Epidemiology (Former Research Group)

The research group "Computational Genomics and Epidemiology", headed by Alice McHardy, was part of the Cluster of Excellence MMCI from September 2007 until October 2010.

Vision and Research Strategy

Technological advances have enabled genome sequencing for organisms from a wide range of taxa, the sequencing of microbial communities from diverse environments, and genome-wide surveys of genetic diversity for microbial, viral and eukaryotic populations. A major challenge is the development of computational methods for the analysis of these novel data sources. This promises to yield a more detailed understanding of biological processes with relevance for medical, biotechnological, agricultural, and environmental applications.

Genomic differences between taxa or individuals of a population reflect either the impact of selection for certain phenotypic traits or neutral epidemiological processes, such as spatial population separation. Accordingly, the analysis of genomic properties such as sequence composition, gene content, or individual mutations in combination with epidemiological information can give insight into the molecular characteristics and biological processes associated with phenotypic traits, and allows the development of computational methods for diagnosis and classification. In terms of applications, the research of the Computational Genomics and Epidemiology group focusses on problems in metagenomics, evolution of the influenza virus, and human complex diseases. We strive to advance the state of the art for problems from each of these exciting research areas while simultaneously enhancing our expertise and skill set for solving computational genomics problems in general.

Composition of Group

The group was founded in September 2007 when Alice McHardy joined MPI-INF as an Independent Research Group Leader, and became affiliated with the Cluster in July 2008. Dr. Ben Adams was a group member from September 2007 to February 2008, at which point he accepted an offer from the University of Bath. Alice McHardy accepted a full professorship (W3) at the University of Düsseldorf and started there in October 2010.

Research Topics and Achievements

Projects and Collaborations

Dr. Alice McHardy

Dr. Alice McHardy

Since 2010, Alice McHardy is a full professor at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf. Her research interests include influenza evolution, metagenomics, and cancer genomics.

Fon: +49 211 81 10427