Braga-Neto receives NSF Award

Braga -Neto MugRecently an assistant professor in The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his research on complex dynamical systems with applications in the study of biochemical regulatory networks.

Dr. Ulisses Braga-Neto, a faculty member in the new Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics Systems Engineering, which is expected to open in the fall of 2013, received a Communications and Information Foundations (CIF) award for his research titled “Optimal Estimation and Network Inference for Boolean Dynamical Systems.”

The award will support the work of post-doc, graduate and undergraduate researchers over a three-year period, under the supervision of Braga-Neto, the single principal investigator. The project concerns the study of complex dynamical systems based on networks of logical gates updated and observed through noise at discrete time intervals. A novel signal model for such stochastic Boolean dynamical systems is proposed, along with its optimal recursive MMSE estimator, called the Boolean Kalman Filter (BKF). The methodology is applied to the optimal inference of biochemical regulatory networks from time series data, in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research, and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), in Brazil.

Braga-Neto joined the Biomedical Imaging and Genomic Signal Processing group of the department in 2007 as an assistant professor. Prior to that he was an assistant researcher with FIOCRUZ from 2004-2006, and from 2002-2004 he was a post-doctoral researcher with the Section of Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Braga-Neto received his Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in 2002, and M.S.E. degrees in electrical and computer engineering and mathematical sciences, also from The Johns Hopkins University, in 1998. He received an M.S. degree from the State University of Campinas, Brazil, in 1994 and his B.S. degree from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil, in 1992. Honors include the receiving NSF CAREER Award in 2009. Braga-Neto’s research interests include statistical signal processing and statistical pattern recognition, with applications in the study of cancer and infectious diseases. He is particularly interested in the design and analysis of statistical methods of small-sample classification and error estimation for genomics and proteomics applications.

The NSF’s Communications and Information Foundations (CIF) program supports potentially transformative research that addresses the theoretical underpinnings and current and future enabling technologies for information acquisition, transmission and processing in communications and information processing systems. To learn more about this program visit