laboratory conducts advanced knowledge discovery studies that include
summarization, trend analysis, anomaly detection, clustering,
prediction, text, image and stream mining. He has worked with
investigators across several colleges and schools at Temple, on
projects from pollution concentration to crime rates among Philadelphia
youth, and is constantly on the lookout for ways to establish new
interdisciplinary research collaborations.
it is his work in bioinformatics that is world renowned; his research
on disordered proteins — those that bind in unusual ways — was the
first of its kind, and dispelled a common school of thought for most of
the 20th century, which was that proteins are structurally rigid and
fit together like a lock and key.
Obradovic’s impressive body of work has earned him this year’s Temple University Faculty Research Award.
to joining Temple’s faculty in 2000, Obradovic was a professor at
Washington State University. While there, he heard a talk given by a
scientist from a pharmaceutical company in which flexible protein
structure was considered an exception to the rule.
“I had read in Nature
about another study that found disordered proteins to be an exception
to the rule,” said Obradovic. “I started to wonder who else had looked
at these ‘strange’ proteins, and if they were in fact an exception or
the new rule?
“There was a big
surprise when, through data mining studies, we found that disordered
proteins are very common in nature,” he said. “We’ve found that many of
these proteins have associations with cancer and other diseases.”
work has served as a jumping off point for many other researchers in
the field, and has led to the birth of a subspecialty in protein
disorders, an area which is young but now booming.
at Washington State, he was named Researcher of the Year by the College
of Engineering and Architecture. He received his bachelor’s in applied
mathematics and master’s in mathematics and computer sciences from the
University of Belgrade, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Penn
State University in 1991.
Obradovic has authored nearly 200 scholarly publications and his
research has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of
Health for more than 10 years, he says his research is far from over.
“Every time one question is answered, it always raises several more,” he said.