CS Professor Luay Nakhleh inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows

Dean of engineering recognized for his distinguished and continuing achievements in computational biology

CS Professor Luay Nakhleh inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows

On March 25 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) formally inducted Luay Nakhleh, professor of Computer Science, to the College of Fellows, which is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers. Nakhleh was honored for his achievements in computational biology.  

Professor Nakhleh was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows “for mathematical modeling and algorithm development to study genomic data and leadership in the academic and computational biology communities.”  

Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions a medical and biological engineer can receive. A nonprofit organization founded in 1991, AIMBE’s mission is to provide leadership and advocacy in medical and biological engineering for the benefit of society. AIMBE’s College of Fellows is comprised of more than 2,500 individuals who have made significant contributions to the medical and biological engineering community in academia, industry, government, and education that have transformed the world.

Luay Nakhleh is the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering and a professor of Computer Science. He served as chair of the Computer Science department from 2017 to 2020.  He leads the Bioinformatics Group within the Computer Science department which conducts research into developing methodologies, implementing software tools, and conducting analyses–all aimed at answering and enabling research into biological questions, and he teaches a Graduate Seminar on Computational Biology. Computational biology and bioinformatics research in the Department of Computer Science spans biological systems from individual genes, proteins, and cells, to networks of interacting molecules, to species and microbial communities.

Nakhleh’s research interests focus on combinatorial optimization, statistical inference, and their applications to biological problems. His work recently has been on phylogenomics and cancer genomics, the evolution of biological networks (protein interaction networks and regulatory networks), and the modeling and analysis of biological networks (metabolic and regulatory networks). 

During Nakhleh’s tenure as chair of the computer science department — the largest department at Rice — the faculty grew to 35 members. He launched Rice University’s Online Master of Computer Science program and helped grow the Professional Master of Computer Science, which is the largest non-business professional program at Rice.

Professor Nakhleh earned his B.S. from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in 1996, his M.S. from Texas A&M University in 1998, and Ph.D from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2004, all in computer science. He joined the Rice faculty in 2004 and was promoted to full professor in 2016.