- NIH Biosketch
- One-page Biography
Professor Bonnie Berger is the Simons Professor of Mathematics with a joint appointment in Computer Science, and Associate Member of the Broad. After beginning her career working in algorithms at MIT, she was one of the pioneer researchers in computational biology and, together with the many students she has mentored, has been instrumental in defining the field. She continues to lead efforts to design algorithms to gain biological insights from recent advances in automated data collection and the subsequent large data sets drawn from them. Her recent work focuses on designing algorithms to gain biological insights from massive biological data. She works on diverse areas, including Compressive Genomics, Network Inference, Structural Bioinformatics, Metagenomics, and Genomic Privacy. She actively collaborates with biologists and pharmaceutical researchers. She has co-authored over 140 scholarly research articles and has been invited to present at conferences in fields ranging from randomized algorithms and graph theory to computational Molecular Biology. She was recently elected to serve as a Member-at-Large of the Section on Mathematics at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Over the years, she has received numerous honors including: election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the NIH Margaret Pittman Director’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement & Lectureship, Biophysical Society's Dayhoff Award, Technology Review Magazine's inaugural TR100 as a top young innovator, ACM Fellow, ISCB Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow, American Mathematical Society Fellow, NSF Career Award and Honorary Doctorate from EPFL. She over the last years has served as Vice President of ISCB, as Head of the Steering Committee for RECOMB, on the NIH NIGMS and NCBI Advisory Councils, and as Interim Head of Applied Mathematics at MIT.
Professor Berger received her A.B. in computer science magna cum laude from Brandeis University, and was a recipient of the Esther Pine Memorial Prize for academic achievement. She subsequently entered graduate school in computer science at MIT, where she received both her S.M. and Ph.D. in computer science while studying randomized algorithms under the supervision of Professor Silvio Micali. Professor Berger's Ph.D. thesis won the George M. Sprowles Prize for best research contribution to computer science.
After graduating, Professor Berger worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the MIT mathematics department under the sponsorship of Professor Daniel Kleitman as an NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow, while simultaneously continuing a part-time position as a mathematical consultant at AT&T Bell Laboratories to researchers David Johnson and Peter Shor.
Upon completing postdoctoral work, Professor Berger joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor of applied mathematics holding a joint appointment at the Laboratory for Computer Science, now known as the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Professor Berger became the head of the computation and biology group at MIT in 1994. In 1999, Professor Berger was granted tenure. In 2002, she was promoted to full professor.
As a professor at MIT, Professor Berger has advised 31 doctoral theses and currently leads a group consisting of ten graduate students and several undergraduate UROPs. Professor Berger's advisees have graduated to significant achievements in many and diverse scientific disciplines. She is a member of the Graduate, MEMP Curriculum, and Governance Committees for the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as well as the nominating committee of the ACM. In addition to her academic responsibilities, Professor Berger is involved in numerous committees and public service activities at MIT and within the larger scientific community.
Professor Berger's research has been generously supported by grants from the Merck Company, the United States Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Charles E. Reed Faculty Initiative Fund, Arthur D. Little Corporation, and the State Street Bank.
Professor Berger is married and has two children.