Fan Chen, an assistant professor of intelligent systems engineering at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, has been honored with the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development CAREER Award.
The CAREER award supports early career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Chen’s proposal, “System Support for Scalable, Fast, and Power-Efficient Genome Sequencing,” was recognized for its aim of lowering the barrier to entry for genome sequencing development, equipping the next generation of users, developers, entrepreneurs, and scientists to use genome sequencing without help from software and hardware experts.
“I am honored to receive this NSF CAREER award and would also like to thank the ISE department, the Luddy School, and Indiana University for all the help and support I have received,” Chen said. “This award is a milestone in my career and shows that the impact of my research has been recognized. This award will also help me hire more Ph.D. students to work on genomic applications and continue to contribute to IU's healthcare research programs.”
Chen’s research focuses on genome sequencing, which currently features a long time- and energy-consuming processing pipeline. The latency of genome sequencing leads to delays in treatment, patient deterioration, or even death.
Chen plans to develop a support system for specialized genome sequencing acceleration.
“The outcomes of this proposal will lower the barrier to genome sequencing development, bringing the benefits of genome sequencing to average users who are not software or hardware experts,” Chen said. “The proposal will make genome sequencing more power-efficient, scalable, and accessible, making it possible to realize its value in socially relevant applications that demand fast genome sequencing including global food security, wildlife conservation, virus surveillance, and personalized medicine.”
The CAREER Award is worth nearly $530,000 and integrates research and education including graduate and undergraduate curriculum development and research mentoring, and a high school intern program to enable early learners to use genome sequencing while developing an interest in STEM.
“Our faculty have a well-earned reputation for being on the cutting edge of research, and it’s always gratifying when one of our young researchers is honored with such a prestigious award,” said Dennis Groth, interim dean of the Luddy School. “We’re extremely proud of the work Fan has already done in regard to genome sequencing, and we look forward to her pushing the boundaries of what is possible as she moves this critical area into tomorrow.”