Over the past few decades, technological developments have resulted in the accumulation of large genomic data even within a single experiment. The analysis of this data has led to many novel discoveries and medical applications. For this reason, the majority of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies today, as well as many labs in academia, include experts in analysis of the biological data that is emerging from these technologies. These experts have domain expertise in subfields of genomics, such as cancer genomics, statistical genetics, protein structure prediction, computational medicine, metagenomics, and others. 

The analysis of these datasets requires the development of methods that are domain-specific. For this reason, over the years, many communities that are dedicated to specific subfields of genomics have emerged. Unfortunately, this resulted in smaller overlap between the different sub-domains; for example, the statistical genomics community has minimal overlap with the metagenomics community. CGSI was formed in order to bridge this gap; it is a methods-oriented program with the goal to create interactions between the different fields of research in computational genomics in an informal setting.

In order to achieve this goal, we structure CGSI in a very non-typical way, resulting in its own unique culture. Specifically, CGSI is a fusion of a summer school and a scientific conference. It has the characteristics of a conference, bringing together over a hundred researchers and trainees who showcase their latest research. It also has the characteristics of a summer school; it is a month-long program that involves a combination of tutorials (broader talks that include an overview of the field) and research talks, which lead to in-depth discussions during breaks. At CGSI, we importantly emphasize the need for interaction between participants. We offer icebreakers and many other social activities, including an opening retreat in the mountains, a picnic at the beach, and sports games that involve both faculty and trainees.

We are very proud of the faculty in the CGSI community. It is clear that everyone who joins these meetings views them as an opportunity to be part of a larger community. The vast majority of the CGSI faculty spends at least a week at CGSI, takes part in the social events, and makes an effort to interact with faculty and trainees from other fields in computational genomics in order to foster a sense of a larger methods-based community. We welcome to our community both new and established researchers who are interested in methods development for genomics and medical applications, and who would like to become part of a larger, friendly, and intellectually intriguing community.

The institute has its roots in a program called "Mathematical and Computational Approaches in High-Throughput Genomics", which was held at UCLA's Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) and was led by Russ Caflisch. Many of the current CGSI faculty were involved in this program. CGSI was later founded in 2015, when Eleazar Eskin (UCLA), Eran Halperin (UCLA), John Novembre (The University of Chicago), and Ben Raphael (Princeton University), along with IPAM, set out to develop an annual program for improving education and facilitating collaboration in genomics and related fields.

CGSI Program Directors

Eleazar Eskin


Head of Computational Medicine Department | UCLA

Eran Halperin


Computer Science & Anesthesiology | UCLA

CGSI Organizing Committee

Lisa Bastarache

Research Assistant Professor

Biomedical Informatics | Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Sriram Sankararaman

Assistant Professor

Computer Science, Computational Medicine & Human Genetics | UCLA

James Zou

Assistant Professor

Biomedical Data Science | Stanford University

Noah Zaitlen

Associate Professor

Statistical and Computational Genomics | UCLA

CGSI Steering Committee

John Novembre


Human Genetics, Ecology & Evolution | University of Chicago

Ben Raphael


Computer Science | Princeton University

Dima Shlyakhtenko


Director of Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics | UCLA

CGSI Faculty 2020

Valerie Arboleda, UCLA Elham Azizi, Columbia University Lisa Bastarache, Vanderbilt University Kayhan Batmanghelich, University of Pittsburgh Gillian Belbin, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Brian Browning, University of Washington Na Cai, Helmholtz Pioneer Campus Rayan Chikhi, Institut Pasteur Karen Conneely, Emory University Nancy Cox, Vanderbilt University Andy Dahl, University of Chicago Jessica Dennis, University of British Columbia Jason Ernst, UCLA Eleazar Eskin, UCLA Jonathan Flint, UCLA Nandita Garud, UCLA Irit Gat-Vicks, Tel Aviv University Casey Greene, University of Pennsylvania Chris Gignoux, University of Colorado Simon Gravel, McGill University Eran Halperin, UCLA Jo Hardin, Pomona College Farhad Hormozdiari, Harvard School of Public Health Haky (Hae Kyung) Im, University of Chicago Vanessa Jonsson, City of Hope Eimear Kenny, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai David Knowles, Columbia University Smita Krishnaswamy, Yale University Leslie Lange, Colorado University Ben Langmead, Johns Hopkins University Jessica (Jingyi) Li, UCLA Xihong Lin, Harvard University Kirk Lohmueller, UCLA Jian Ma, CMU Nick Mancuso, USC Serghei Mangul, USC Siavash Mirarab, UCSD John Novembre, University of Chicago Vasilis Ntranos, UCSF Layla Oesper, Carleton College Julia Palacios, Stanford University Bogdan Pasaniuc, UCLA Jian Peng, University of Illinois Teresa Przytycka, NIH Rajesh Ranganath, NYU Ben Raphael, Princeton University Saharon Rosset, Tel Aviv University Sushmita Roy, University of Wisconsin-Madison Sriram Sankararaman, UCLA Derrick Scott, Delaware State University Ayellet Segre, Harvard School of Medicine Guy Sella, Columbia University Janet Sinsheimer, UCLA Jae-Hoon Sul, UCLA Daniel Tward, UCLA Lawrence Uricchio, Tufts University David Van Dijk, Yale Peter Visscher, University of Queensland Wenyi Wang, MD Anderson Cancer Center Tandy Warnow, University of Illinois Grace Xiao, UCLA Pengtao Xie, UCSD Loic Yengo, The University of Queensland Noah Zaitlen, UCLA James Zou, Stanford University Or Zuk, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

CGSI Staff

Stacey Beggs

Program Director

Samantha andrews

Student Programs Manager

Stephania Kay

Executive Assistant

Leticia Ortiz

Marketing Manager

CGSI Volunteers