Dr. Mihai Pop is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Dr. Pop received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University where he focused on algorithms for computer graphics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. He then joined The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) as a Bioinformatics Scientist, where he was responsible for the development of genome assembly algorithms. During this time, Dr. Pop participated in a number of bacterial and eukaryotic genome projects including important human pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis and Entamoeba hystolitica. Since joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Pop has continued to develop novel approaches for genome assembly and analysis, and has developed extensive expertise in the analysis of metagenomic data. His lab has developed a number of widely used open-source software tools, such as the assembly suite AMOS, the NGS aligner Bowtie, the taxonomic classifier Metaphyler, and the metagenomic assembly package MetAMOS. Most recently he co-led the data analysis working group for the Human Microbiome Project and led the sub-group responsible for the assembly of the data generated in this project. In the context of pathogen detection and identification, Dr. Pop was a key member of the team that analyzed the Bacillus anthracis strains used in the biowarfare attack from 2001, helping develop the diagnostic test that ultimately help identify the source of the attack strain.