Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Ananth Grama

Second Advisor

Wojciech Szpankowski

Committee Member 1

David Gleich

Committee Member 2

Jennifer Neville

Committee Member 3

Markus Lill


Cells are the fundamental building block of complex tissues in higher-order organisms. These cells take different forms and shapes to perform a broad range of functions. What makes a cell uniquely eligible to perform a task, however, is not well-understood; neither is the defining characteristic that groups similar cells together to constitute a cell type. Even for known cell types, underlying pathways that mediate cell type-specific functionality are not readily available. These functions, in turn, contribute to cell type-specific susceptibility in various disorders.