Dennis Vitkup

Dennis Vitkup


Associate Professor, Department of Systems Biology


Department of Systems Biology
Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Center for Cancer Systems Therapeutics
Department of Biomedical Informatics


(212) 851-5151

Dennis Vitkup is an associate professor in the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and the Department of Biomedical Informatics. His laboratory develops and applies novel probabilistic techniques to analyze cellular networks. Their work involves developing methods that connect network structure to function to phenotypes, and can be used to make experimentally verifiable predictions. Research in the Vitkup Lab focuses on three main topics: 1) the global probabilistic reconstruction and analysis of metabolic networks based on completely sequenced genomes, 2) the development of methods to identify new human disease genes and genetic disease modules using probabilistic functional networks, and 3) the development of methods to combine mechanistic and probabilistic approaches for the dynamic simulation of biological pathways. The Vitkup Lab developed GLOBUS, a global probabilistic method for reconstructing cellular metabolic networks, and applied it to design new drugs for malaria and understand cancer metabolism. They also created NETBAG, a novel method for considering genetic mutations in the context of molecular networks, and used it to identify networks that are perturbed in autism and schizophrenia.

More News


Columbia Awarded NCI Center for Cancer Systems Biology
The Center for Cancer Systems Therapeutics (CaST) is developing a framework that can account for the dynamic nature of cancer and use this knowledge to disrupt the programs that maintain tumor survival.
Tracing Bacterial Evolution Across Billions of Years
Using simulations of metabolism as a kind of microscope, Dennis Vitkup and Germán Plata have identified patterns in how bacteria adapt and diversify at the phenotypic level, an important issue in evolutionary biology.
Diverse Autism Mutations Lead to Different Disease Outcomes
People with autism exhibit a wide range of symptoms. Now a large-scale analysis of hundreds of patients has started to uncover how diversity among traits can be traced to differences in patients’ genetic mutations.
Grant Will Support Annotation of Metabolic Networks in Pathogenic Bacteria
A team led by Associate Professor Dennis Vitkup has received a multiyear grant to develop models of metabolic networks for all of the major bacterial species that cause disease in humans.
Study of Cancer Metabolism Identifies Potential Drug Targets
A study led by Dennis Vitkup and postdoctoral research scientist Jie Hu has identified a broad spectrum of metabolic expression changes associated with cancer, as well as hundreds of possible targets for starving tumors.
Connections Found between Genetic Networks for Schizophrenia and Autism
In a new paper published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Columbia University researchers report that many of the genes that are mutated in schizophrenia are organized into two main networks, one of which is very similar to a network that has been linked to autism.
A First Method for Global Probabilistic Annotations of Metabolic Networks
A new algorithm called GLOBUS will enable scientists to make increasingly confident predictions about the function of genes involved in metabolism.
New Clues to the Genetics Roots of Autism
Researchers in the lab of Dennis Vitkup have identified a large biological network of genes that is strongly related to genes previously implicated in autism and intellectual disability phenotypes.