Sudhir Kumar leads a team of interdisciplinary scientists who are developing new computer-based methods of studying and analyzing the tens of thousands of genes in humans and related species, enabling researchers to learn their functions and origins. Dr. Kumar is a renowned expert in the field of evolutionary bioinformatics, who received an Innovation Award in Functional Genomics from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in 2000. In 2004 he joined the elite ranks of most-cited researchers, being among the top ten in number of citations in the field of computer science over the last decade. Among his more than 70 papers and books are three “Hot Papers,” which were cited among the most of any in their fields.
Dr. Kumar is an interdisciplinary scientist who brings the problem-solving skills from his undergraduate engineering background together with his knowledge of evolutionary genetics from his doctoral work to tackle long-standing problems in functional genomics and evolutionary biology. He has made pioneering efforts in developing bioinformatics tools and databases for the analysis of gene expression patterns from early stages of the fruit fly development. He has also conducted breakthrough work using protein molecular clocks to illuminate the Evolutionary Timescale of Life. Over the last decade, Dr. Kumar has led the team that developed the Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software in order to make useful methods of comparative sequence analysis easily accessible to the scientific community for research and education. His research is funded by National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, among other agencies.
Dr. Kumar is professor of biology at ASU, where he teaches undergraduate-level evolutionary biology and graduate-level evolutionary genomics classes. He is a standing member of the NIH review panel and a member of many journal editorial boards, including Molecular Biology and Evolution, Genome Research, Evolutionary Bioinformatics Online, and Gene: Functional Genomics. Dr. Kumar is currently the webmaster for Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution and American Genetic Association. He received his B.E. in Electrical/Electronics Engineering and M.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences in India, and his Ph.D. in Genetics from Pennsylvania State University.