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Soumya Banerjee Awarded the 2010 UNM Student Award for Innovation in Informatics

April 26, 2010

soumyaCS Department PhD student Soumya Banerjee has been awarded the 2010 UNM Student Award for Innovation in Informatics. The award is given to a UNM graduate or undergraduate student for the best paper describing innovation or research in the field of biomedical informatics. He presented his work at the Biocomputing@UNM Workshop on April 16th, 2:30 PM. 

His research interest is in computational immunology- a field that uses techniques from computer science to solve problems in immunology and which also takes inspiration from immunology to solve problems in computer science. He is advised by Prof. Melanie Moses and collaborates with Prof. Alan Perelson at Los Alamos National Laboratories. One of his current research projects uses mathematical models to predict the rate at which pathogens will replicate within organisms and the rate at which the immune system will neutralize pathogens (paper). 

He also looks at how a modular decentralized detection network of biological "detectors" called lymph nodes can help the immune system conduct very efficient detection and response. Taking inspiration from the immune system, he and his collaborators were able to show that such a modular strategy can be used to decrease search times in distributed systems like peer-to-peer resource location systems and wireless sensor networks (paper). The broad goal of his research will be to investigate how the seemingly disparate fields of immunology and computer science can learn from one another.