Luay K. Nakhleh, professor of computer science (CS) and of biosciences at Rice University, will become chair of the Department of Computer Science as of Jan. 1, 2017.
"We are very pleased that Luay has agreed to assume the chairmanship of the Department of Computer Science. He is an outstanding teacher and researcher with the talent, vision and leadership skills to continue building a world-class department," said Edwin L. "Ned" Thomas, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering and professor of materials science and nanoengineering.
Nakhleh earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004, and joined the Rice faculty that year. His research focuses on developing new methodologies and software to study the history of both specific genes and entire genomes, and the genetic links between species.
In 2012, Nakhleh was awarded a fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; in 2010, a research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and in 2009, a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.
In 2015, Nakhleh was co-winner of the inaugural Teaching and Research (T + R)^2 Excellence Award from the George R. Brown School of Engineering, and last summer was promoted to full professor. Since August, he has served as associate chair of CS.
Vivek Sarkar, the E.D. Butcher Chair in Engineering and professor of computer science, has been CS chair since 2013.