Microscopic view of human genes in sample collectors.

Alexis Battle, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been named a 2016 Searle Scholar. The Searle Scholars Program recognizes the potential of researchers to make significant contributions to chemical and biological research over the course of their careers. Each Searle Scholar is awarded $300,000 in flexible funding to support his or her work over the next three years.

This year, 196 applications were considered from nominations by 137 universities and research institutions.

Alexis Battle

A member of the Computational Biology and Medicine Group and the Machine Learning and Data Intensive Computing Group, Battle focuses on unraveling the impact of genetics on the human health, using machine learning and probabilistic methods to analyze large scale genomic data. She is interested in applications to personal genomics, genetics of gene expression and gene networks in disease, and in leveraging diverse data to infer more comprehensive models of genetic effects on the cell.

“The penetration of computer science into all aspects of life, including biology and chemistry, manifested itself in this award,” said Yair Amir, chair of the Department of Computer Science. “It is likely that Alexis is the first computer scientist to receive this honor. I find it telling that she is considered as one of the top ‘chemical and biological’ scientists. Way to go Alexis!”