Informatics Graduate now Working with MacArthur Genius Award Winner
|James Costello, the first recipient of a Ph.D. from Indiana University’s School of Informatics, is now working in the laboratory of one of the world’s leading synthetic biologists, James J. Collins of Boston University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Courtesy of Chris Meyer|
James Costello, who on August 31 became the first recipient of a Ph.D. in Informatics from Indiana University’s School of Informatics, has started postdoctoral work at Boston University with a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is working in the laboratory of James J. Collins, a Rhodes Scholar who in 2003 became the first bioengineer to receive a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.” Collins is considered a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology.
“Essentially I will be using computational approaches to model how genes interact with each other,” Costello said. “I will be working on both synthetic and systems biology projects involving bacteria and mammalian systems.”
While in Bloomington, Costello worked with associate professor of informatics and data mining expert Mehmet Dalkilic and assistant professor of biology and adjunct assistant professor of informatics Justen Andrews at the IU Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics. Specifically, he worked on the design, development and implementation of integration methods for connecting disparate sources of Drosophila data to better inform researchers of functional relationships between genes.
Costello received a master of science in informatics from IU in 2004 after coming from the University of Iowa with undergraduate degrees in biology and economics. During his 2003-04 year at IU he received both the School of Informatics’s outstanding teaching and achievement awards and the IU Graduate and Professional Student Organization’s outstanding graduate student award.
Indiana University’s School of Informatics was founded in 2000 as the first school of its kind in the United States. The doctoral degree to Costello was a significant milestone — the first-ever Ph.D. in informatics officially awarded and formally recorded by the university.