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Peer Bork, a German bioinformatics expert from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, visited King Saud University last week to share his insights into biological systems and their evolution through comparative analysis and integration of complex molecular data.

Dr. Bork, welcomed to the KSU campus by Vice Rector for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research Ali Al-Ghamdi and Assistant Vice Rector Abdulaziz Al-Khedhairy, has been recognized by Microsoft Corp. as “one of the most cited European researchers in the fields of molecular biology and genetics”. In 2009, Microsoft awarded Bork the fourth annual Royal Society and Académie des sciences Microsoft Award, for his research on the nature of the human microbiome, as related to age, ethnicity, diseases, nutrition, and genetics.

The EMBL’s Bork Group does extensive research in computational biology, which uses computer science, applied mathematics and statistics to address biological problems. According to the Bork Group, they explore new or emerging areas of biology; for example we have projects aimed at predicting new uses for old drugs or discovering biomolecules that cause disease.

Dr. Bork presented a lecture entitled “Predicting biological function at different spatial scales: from molecules to cells and communities”, and his visit was organized by the Abdul Rahman Al-Jeraisy Chair for DNA Research.