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  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - Systems Biology and Bioinformatics

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - Systems Biology and Bioinformatics Virginia Tech



COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

Course info


Drug resistance in breast cancer

ECE researchers are working with biologists to build mathematical models to predict the impact of drugs on cancer cells.

When using drug therapy to deprive breast cancer cells of estrogen, some of the cells die, but others eventually become independent of estrogen (drug resistant) and begin to grow again. We built a model that shows how cells transition from estrogen sensitivity to estrogen independence. The model was used to design an optimal cycle of drug therapy that minimizes the growth of the cancer while preventing drug resistance.

Genetic risk factors

More than 80 percent of the genetic risk factors that have been identified for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer have no obvious functional explanation for their role in the disease. We are using machine learning methods to infer the functional effects of the newly discovered genetic factors by integrating evidence from multiple-omics data, including chromatin accessibility, histone marks, DNA methylation, gene expression, and DNA conservation mapping.

Muscular Dystrophy

Using a large tissue bank of frozen muscle biopsies from patients, a team is applying computational bioinformatics to understand the genetic causes of different types of muscular dystrophy. The work involves identifying the causative genes, defining the range of gene mutations, and analyzing the consequences of the gene/protein defects.

Signal processing & cancer

An ECE team has developed several innovative signal-processing methods to analyze genomic data for cancer research. We applied pattern recognition, signal processing, and machine learning to multiplatform genomic data, unraveling complex molecular networks associated with the development and progression of cancers. Our goal is to discover new knowledge of estrogen receptor signaling, and ultimately use this information to identify new therapeutic targets for drug discovery.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - Systems Biology and Bioinformatics.

Full Time (90 credit hours)

Tuition fees

$14,208.00 (10,54,737) per year

USD $14,207.50 for 9 or more credit hours (Fall and Spring Semesters).

*Price shown is for indicative purpose, please check with institution


23-Aug-21, 18-Jan-22


Virginia Tech

925 Prices Fork Road,



24061, United States

Entry requirement for international students

Applicants applying for these degrees program must have an earned Master's degree in CPE, EE or related field.

Minimum GPA: 3.5

A minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test (PBT) or 90 on the internet-based test (iBT) is required for consideration of the application. On the iBT, sub-scores of at least 20 on each subtest (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) are required for admission. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required for admission.

The deadlines are January 15 for fall admission and September 1 for spring admission.

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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