//Leadership Team
Leadership Team2017-12-12T11:29:59+00:00


The center’s leadership combines top-level expertise in large-scale data mining, development of novel methods for pattern discovery in biological data sets, systems biology, software engineering, computer engineering, microbial genomics, large-scale pharmacogenomics, and the design and implementation of innovative clinical trials. This diverse and highly interdisciplinary group works towards a well-defined set of goals and deliverables centered on the design, implementation, testing, and practical use of the KnowEnG cyberenvironment. The leadership team includes four principal investigators and an executive director.

Jiawei Han, Ph.D.

Abel Bliss Professor, Department of Computer Science

Jiawei Han, contact PI and Program Director, is one of the world’s foremost experts in data mining and is the author of the area’s pre-eminent textbook, “Data Mining, Concepts and Techniques,” now in its third edition. He has authored over 500 journal and conference publications and has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, DARPA, and many private foundations. His research spans all of the domains of Big Data: data mining, data warehousing, database systems, and mining of spatiotemporal data, Web data, and social/information network data. He is also a very successful educator, and his data mining classes at the U of I are regularly oversubscribed.

Saurabh Sinha, Ph.D.

 Associate Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar, Dept. of Computer Science;
Faculty, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Saurabh Sinha is the co-director of the KnowEnG Center and leads the Data Science Research arm. He is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, a core member of the Gene Networks in Neural and Developmental Plasticity research theme at the IGB, and an affiliate of the Department of Entomology and the Biophysics Program at UI. His core research interest is in the area of regulatory and comparative genomics with a strong emphasis on developing computational techniques for analyzing biological data. He has received an NSF CAREER award as well as research grants from NIH, NSF, USDA, and the Simons Foundation. He has authored over 75 research articles.

Jun S. Song, Ph.D.

Founder Professor of Bioengineering and of Physics

Jun Song is the PI of the Education and Training component of the KnowEnG Center. He joined the Departments of Physics and Bioengineering as well as the IGB as a full professor. Coming from the University of California, San Francisco, he was awarded a Grainger Endowed Professorship at UI. His research focuses on using integrative genomics to study the interplay among transcription factors, chromatin structure, non-coding RNAs, and gene regulation in development and diseases. He develops statistical and probabilistic methods for processing and integrating high-throughput genomic data sets and applies these techniques to study the interplay among transcription factors, chromatin structure, and non-coding RNAs in regulating gene expression. He has received an NSF CAREER award as well as grants from NIH and the Sontag Foundation.

Richard Weinshilboum, M.D.

Director & Chair, Clinical Pharmacology;
Director, Pharmacogenomics Program
Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

Richard Weinshilboum leads the Cancer Pharmacogenomics project in the KnowEnG center. He helped create the field of pharmacogenomics with his early work on the inheritance of the neurotransmitter metabolizing enzyme, catechol O-methyltransferase, and the drug metabolizing enzyme, thiopurine methyltransferase. His current interest is in cancer pharmacogenomics, the study of genetically determined differences in patients’ responses to cancer therapy regimens. He participates in the Mayo Clinic’s BEAUTY clinical trial, which combines longitudinal studies of the evolution of the patients’ cancer genome, the generation of mouse xenografts to study the drug response patterns of the tumor, and neoadjuvant therapy. Dr. Weinshilboum has received numerous awards, including the Harry Gold Award for Clinical Pharmacology and the Oscar B. Hunter Award of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He has authored over 350 scientific papers and received numerous NIH grants, including one for the long-term leadership of the NIH-funded Pharmacogenomics Research Network.

C. Victor Jongeneel, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications;
Director of of Bioinformatics at the Institute for Genomic Biology;
Director of the High-Performance Biological Computing Group

Victor Jongeneel is the Executive Director of the KnowEnG center. He was founding director of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and of its Vital-IT HPC facility, and he supervised large-scale international genomics initiatives at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Jongeneel is involved in developing a biomedical informatics program that brings together resources and expertise at IGB and NCSA and across the Illinois campus. He has obtained several grants from the European Commission and has served for many years as an external evaluator for its genomics programs.