Luis Pedro Coelho is the principal investigator (PI) of the Big Data Biology Lab at Fudan University. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Peer Bork’s group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). He has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University where he worked under the supervision of Prof. Bob Murphy and a MSc from Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, where he worked with Prof Arlindo Oliveira. He currently works on the analysis of microbial communities in different environments, such as the marine environment or the human gut using computational methods, namely metagenomic analysis and fluorescence microscopy analysis. Luis is a Fulbright Scholar, a Siebel Scholar, and has won multiple awards for academic and research excellence.
Outside academia, Luis has been involved in theatre (having produced the student group at IST and starred in several productions), as well as received a prize in a short story competition. He has taught computer usage in underprivileged neighbourhoods and designed Webpages for nonprofits. In Summer 2010, was in Mozambique, volunteering with local organisations there beiraproject.org.
Longer Version (Academic)
Luis Pedro Coelho is postdoctoral researcher at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). He works in metagenomics and bioimage informatics (the application of computer vision to biological samples). He has worked on the TARA Oceans projects, analysing the microbial communities in the marine environment and their relationship to the environment. He has also worked on the microbial communities in the human gut and worked on the development of computational methods for the analysis of metagenomic data. He continues to work on computational methods for fluorescence microscopy analysis.
Luis holds a PhD in computational biology from Carnegie Mellon University. His doctoral research consisted of modeling images from fluorescent microsocpy. The models he developed integrate several sources of image and non-image information into a single model. Also at CMU, he was involved in the Structure Literature Image Finder (SLIF) project; SLIF mined the academic literature using both the text of the papers and the images therein. This project was one of the finalists in the Elsevier Grand Challenge.
Luis also holds a BS and an MS from Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon. His MS research was on learning from noisy data with Bayesian networks. He is a Fulbright Scholar, a Siebel Scholar, and has won multiple awards for academic or research excellence.
Longer Version (Less Academic)
This version is slightly out of date
Luis was born in the coast city of Southampton. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Lisbon, where Luis grew up. A series of fortunate coincidences brought him to the German School of Lisbon where he obtained his Abitur (final German high school diploma).
He went on to study computer science at the Technical University of Lisbon. Before finishing his degree, he spent one year in Vienna as an exchange student. Although Luis had initially planned to graduate and move on to an industry job, intellectual curiosity led him to enrol in graduate courses as electives. His interest spiked, upon graduation, he enrolled in the master’s program (the Technical University of Lisbon offered the possibility of carrying the credits over, in effect merging the end of a bachelor with the start of the Masters program).
He wrote his dissertation about theoretical work on machine learning problems (how to handle noisy data for certain parameter estimation problems). At the same time, he came into contact with people working on bioinformatics and starting attending their research presentation.
This field attracted him. Here were large, complex, unsolved problems. Problems which were both theoretically challenging and of huge practical importance as they cross over to medicine. To prepare himself for this, he entered the CMU-U. Pittsburgh Ph.D. program in Computational Biology. He hopes to build up his skills and knowledge so as to be able to become a future researcher with an impact.
Reminded always of Mark Twain’s advice to not let schooling interfere with one’s education, Luis has taken care to participate in a mix of side projects and hobbies. He has participated in the university’s theatre group with which he travelled to international festivals to play. He has received one a prize in a short story competition and also written open source software for the KDE project. He has taught computer usage in underprivileged neighbourhoods and designed webpages for nonprofits.
If you need photos of me (for press purposes &c), please check (this page)[/photos].