Yoon receives NSF CAREER Award

Photo of Dr. Byung-Jun YoonDr. Byung-Jun Yoon, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Yoon received his CAREER award for his proposal, "Models and Algorithms for Comparative Analysis of Biological Networks.”

In his proposal Yoon said the recent advent of high-throughput technologies for measuring molecular interactions has yielded large collections of biological networks, which enable systematic studies of complex biological organisms. Since biological pathways with critical functions are often conserved across different organisms, comparative analysis of these networks can provide an excellent way of investigating the organization of biological networks, as well as tracking down novel pathways and studying their functions. Yoon’s project aims to develop a solid mathematical framework for comparative network analysis and devise innovative techniques for comparing genome-scale biological networks.

NSF established the CAREER program to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.

Yoon joined the Biomedical Imaging and Genomic Signal Processing group in the electrical and computer engineering department in 2008 as an assistant professor. He received his B.S.E. from the Seoul National University in 1998, his M.S. from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2002 and his Ph.D. also from Caltech in 2007. Before joining the Texas A&M Engineering faculty, Yoon was a post-doc at Caltech from 2006 to 2007. Recent honors include the Best Paper Award from the Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Conference (APBC) 2011.

Yoon’s research interests include genomic signal processing (GSP), bioinformatics, and computational systems biology, especially in developing probabilistic models and algorithms that can be used in biological sequence and network analysis.