Bioinformaticist Kevin Yip joins Sanford Burnham Prebys

Kevin Yip, Ph.D.

Bioinformaticist Kevin Yip, Ph.D., has joined Sanford Burnham Prebys as a professor, where he will collaborate with other faculty across the Institute on large-scale data analysis and develop new tools and models for computational biology.

Yip comes to Sanford Burnham Prebys after more than a decade on the faculty at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“Sanford Burnham Prebys is a very collaborative environment,” says Yip. ”This is perfect for my team because there are many different labs working on interesting and important problems that we can help solve with bioinformatics.” 

Bioinformatics uses sophisticated technological tools to efficiently make sense of huge amounts of data—frequently genetic and genomic. Although it emerged as a subdiscipline of biology and computer science, today it has expanded into a major discipline in its own right. Sanford Burnham Prebys maintains its own bioinformatics core for which Yip will serve as scientific director, to provide computational support to researchers at the Institute and to external researchers.

“Dr. Yip’s experience and expertise in computer science and bioinformatics complement our existing faculty talent and will help accelerate our scientific discoveries to impact patients’ lives sooner,” says Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., president of Sanford Burnham Prebys. “We are thrilled to have him joining us at the Institute.”

In addition to supporting the ongoing experiments of labs across the Institute, Yip’s team will work to develop new analysis tools and models that can be applied to study a wide range biological and medical problems, including those that have yet to be discovered. To date, Yip’s lab has worked on a range of human diseases, including liver cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, diabetes and Hirschsprung disease, a rare congenital condition of the colon.

“Bioinformatics is a two-way street. Sometimes experimental biology labs need data analysis, and sometimes computational models help develop predictions that can be later validated in experiments,” adds Yip.  “Even in a single project, this cycle can occur multiple times.”

Prior to coming to the Institute, Yip held appointments in several departments at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He completed his Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University.

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