Professor Emeritus and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar of Bioinformatics Courtesy Professor of Computer Science Ph.D.: University of Colorado at Boulder, 1991 Background and early life: Ying Xu is a computational biologist and bioinformatician, and a chair professor, Regents-Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Bioinformatics at the University of Georgia, USA. Xu was born in Changchun, Jilin Province of China to a family of two chemists in the early 1960s. Both his parents were professors in Jilin University. He spent part of his childhood in a remote rural area in Fuyu County of Jilin from 1969 to 1972. Xu graduated from the Computer Science Department, Jilin University with a B.S. and a M.S. degree in 1982 and 1985, respectively. He then attended the University of Colorado at Boulder starting in 1986, and received a Ph.D. degree in computer science in 1991. Career and research He worked for Colorado School of Mines from 1991 to 1993 as a visiting assistant professor, and then joined the Computer Science and Mathematics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1993. There he was a research associate, staff scientist, senior staff scientist and group leader from 1993 to 2003. He joined the University of Georgia as an endowed chair professor in 2003. At the UGA and a member of the Institute of Bioinformatics. His research is mainly focused on computational and systems biology relevant to human cancers and their early detection, microbial genomes and pathway encoding, and plant genomes and cell walls.