Sitharthan (Sid) Kamalakaran is the Director of Bioinformatics at the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He received his Ph. D in Molecular Genetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004, and a B.Tech in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University, Chennai, India.
His current work involves developing up scalable storage and computing systems for the analyses of population scale DNA sequencing data. He is broadly interested in how genomic data can be compactly represented, organized and analyzed in parallel. Towards this he is exploring areas of distributed databases and in-memory computing technologies. His research interests ultimately involve the development of statistical and machine learning techniques for understanding human genetic variation and their contribution to human health and disease.
Prior to his engagement with the IGM and Columbia University, Sid worked in the Healthcare and Diagnostics industries building methods for analysis of DNA sequencing data. As a senior research investigator at Philips Research North America, he led the design and development of technologies that use phylogenetic information gleaned from microbial DNA sequencing to identify and track hospital acquired infections.