Bonnie Berger, professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT with a joint appointment in Computer Science in the EECS Department, is one of seven members of the International Society of Computational Biology, selected for the status of Fellow in 2012. The International Society for Computational Biology introduced the ISCB Fellows Program in 2009 to honor members that have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics.
Berger is also head of the Computation and Biology group and member of the Theory of Computation group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). She works on a number of problems at the interface of algorithms and biology. Many of the advances in modern biology revolve around recent advances in automated data collection and the subsequent large data sets drawn from them. She designs algorithms to gain biological insights from this data and from future sources. She works on a diverse set of problems, including Protein Folding, Network Inference, Genomics, and Disease Classification. Additionally, her group collaborates closely with biologists implementing these new techniques in order to design experiments to maximally leverage the power of computation for biological explorations.
Berger's recent work on compression of genomic data to enable researchers to keep pace with the flow of new data is now published in the journal Nature Biology. The work titled "Compressive Genomics" was featured by the MIT News Office, July 10, 2012. The new algorithm developed by Berger and her former and current students permits researchers to find a particular gene sequence in a database of genomes while it gains in effectiveness the greater the amount of data it scans.