I want to turn computers into scientists so that they can discover general scientific laws from their perceptions of the world (the data). Our main area of application is biomedicine and molecular biology.


Professor Hoehndorf's courses

Editorial Membership

  • Member of Editorial Board: PLoS ONE (2018-2021)
  • Associate Editor: Applied Ontology (2017-present)
  • Associate Editor: BMC Bioinformatics (2017-present)
  • Member of Editorial Board: Data Science (2016-present)
  • Associate Editor: Journal of Biomedical Semantics  (2012-present)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Leipzig, Germany, 2009
  • Dipl. Inf., University of Leipzig, Germany, 2005

Robert Hoehndorf is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where he is the Principal Investigator of the Bio-Ontology Research Group (BORG). He is the chair of the successful Artificial Intelligence for Genomics and Health (AI4GH) Seminar Series.

Education and early career

Professor Hoehndorf obtained his Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Leipzig (Germany) in 2009. Prior to coming to KAUST in 2014, he was a research fellow in Aberystwyth University and a research associate in University of Cambridge.

Areas of expertise and current scientific interests

Professor Hoehndorf's main academic interests are knowledge representation and symbolic approaches to artificial intelligence and using them to gain novel biological insights. They develop knowledge-based methods for the analysis of large, complex and heterogeneous datasets in biology, and apply them to understanding genotype-phenotype relations.

Career recognitions

He received a shared first prize in the Ontology Alignment Evaluation Initiative 2016: Phenotype Track. He has also obtained grants to fund the following projects:

  • Sequencing and Computational Analysis of MRSA Samples
  • Improvement of Genetic Variant Prioritization Technology
  • Bio2Vec: Smart Analytics Infrastructure for the Life Sciences
  • The Whale Shark 100: Applying Population Genomics to Understand Mysteries of the World’s Largest Fish
  • Data Integration and Ontologies for Microbial Cell Factories
  • CompleX: Variant Prioritization in Complex Disease

Editorial activities

He is currently a member of the editorial board for PLos ONE and Data Science. He also serves as associate editor for Applied Ontology, BMC Bioinformatics and Journal of Biomedical Semantics.

Why computational bioscience?

I entered computational bioscience by accident, coming from a background in formal logics and started to apply it to biological problems which subsequently led me into computational bioscience.


I came to KAUST because of the great science that can be done here.