Associate Professor, Department of Systems Biology
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.