Carnegie Mellon University
May 02, 2016

CBD Celebrates First CMU-Qatar Computational Biology Graduate

Noora Jassim Al-Muftah is the first graduate from Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar’s Computational Biology program; just today, she received her diploma at the graduation ceremony. Noora graduated with both College and University Honors for exceptional academic performance.

“Noora is very dedicated, her work has been brilliant, and we are very proud that she is our first graduate in Computational Biology,” says Valentin Ilyin, Associate Teaching Professor of Computational Biology.

Noora approached Professor Ilyin during her freshman year to learn more about the new Computational Biology program offered at CMU-Q. The highly selective program includes coursework from both computer science and biological sciences, as well as specific classes for computational biology. Noora showed interest in research very early: in her sophomore year, she conducted an independent research project in the area of next generation sequencing (NGS) and won third place for her poster, “SNV-check: A quality control tool for familiar exome sequencing data based on the sharing of rare genetic mutations,” at Meeting of the Minds, 2014.

Noora continued to dedicate herself to research in her senior year, successfully completing a project titled, “The discovery of hidden relatedness and population structure in the 1000 Genomes Project.”

At today’s graduation, Dean Ilkers Baybars announced that Noora has accepted an offer to attend Harvard University’s graduate program in Computational Biology.  Professor Ilyin says that the doors are open for her. “Computational biology is an emerging field: she could continue her studies on genome analysis, or go to work in areas like personalized medicine, virtual drug testing and automated imaging. Computational Biology research is now being carried out and used in almost every university, hospital, and pharmaceutical and biotech company. She has a very bright future.” Congratulations, Noora!