Computational Medicine Department Chair
Eleazar Eskin is a professor and the founding chair of the Computational Medicine Department. Formerly named the Department of Biomathematics at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, the department became affiliated with the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering in December of 2017. Eskin is also a professor of computer science and human genetics, and is the co-director of the undergraduate bioinformatics minor within the UCLA Bioinformatics Interdepartmental Graduate Program.
At UCLA, Eskin leads the ZarLab, which focuses on developing techniques to solve challenging computational problems that arise in attempting to understand the genetic basis of human disease.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Eskin led the UCLA SwabSeq COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory, which developed a novel, next-generation sequencing-based diagnostic test and deployed the technology in October 2020 — within six months of the outbreak. The test has been in use across UCLA as well as several other universities in California. He is also the principal investigator on a $13.3 million National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics research grant to help expand the laboratory’s testing capacity.
In 2022, Eskin helped spearhead a new collaboration between UCLA and Optum Labs, the research and development arm of UnitedHealth Group, focused on advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning in health care.
Eskin joined the UCLA faculty in 2006, and became a full professor in 2014. He teaches classes on computational genetics, bioinformatics and algorithms in systems. His is a Sloan Research fellow and a fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology.
Prior to joining UCLA, Eskin was an assistant professor in residence at UC San Diego. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from Columbia University, and bachelor’s degrees in computer science, economics and mathematics from the University of Chicago.