CIPHER, Computational Intelligence to Predict Health & Environmental Risks

CIPHER is a university-wide research center with constituents from the College of Computing and Informatics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Education. Our goals are to coalesce expertise in computer science, bioinformatics, software and information systems, biological sciences, math, geography, public health, data science, education, and communications. We are always open to new collaborations within and extramural to the University.

Goals and objectives of the CIPHER center:

In our work at the center, Computational Intelligence to Predict Health and Environmental Risks (CIPHER), we focus on genomics and computing technologies as applied to microbiology, biological and human diversity, and health. We have domestic and international partners for joint research and training in academia, medicine, industry, and government. Our projects focus on infectious diseases including emergent viruses and durable problems such as: malaria, the global spread of antibiotic resistance, food safety, and failing ecosystem health. We apply computing and empirical technologies synergistically.


In a recent study written by Madeline Bellanger and Dr. Richard Allen White III, published in the American Society for Microbiology’s Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal, the two scholars along with Dr. Pieter Visscher of the University of Connecticut demonstrated a new way to measure the levels of viruses in two major lakes in the United States — the Great Salt Lake (GSL) and Green Lake (FGL) outside of Syracuse, New York — that is significantly less expensive to undertake than the standard microscopic sample measurement technique generally used to examine aquatic samples. Read More

Adam Reitzel PH.D. Professor of Biological Sciences and Co-Director for CIPHER

Reitzel was named Faculty Fellow of Grant Writing in the UNC Charlotte Graduate and Postdoctoral Writing Center. As a Faculty Fellow, Reitzel will bring his exceptional scholarly writing experience to aid the development of grant writing talent among postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

He also received the 2024  First Citizens Bank Scholar Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarship, creativity, and research among senior full-time faculty members.

Pandemic Preparation – Presented Wednesday, Jan. 31

Daniel Janies, Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Bioinformatics and Genomics and co-director of the Computational Intelligence to Predict Health and Environmental Risks, will discuss the biology of  how pathogens spread and the progress toward making pandemic response more predictive.

Mutations do not predict the severity of current variants

New research from UNC Charlotte’s Center for Computational Intelligence to Predict Health and Environmental Risks (CIPHER) has found that the two most prevalent strains of the virus that cause COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 variants BA.2.86 and JN.1, are not significantly better than their predecessor Omicron at evading immune responses and causing infections despite having a high number of mutations compared to previous variants.

The authors include: Shirish Yasa (featured here), Sayal Guirales-Medrano, Denis Jacob Machado, Colby T. Ford & Daniel Janies

Read the full story on newswire

More CIPHER News