Jan Aerts

Contact address:
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10, bus 2446, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
office: B00.20
phone: 21053
Personal homepage


Putting the human back in the loop of data analysis

The Visual Data Analysis group (part of BIOI) investigates how to make sense of large and/or complex datasets. In visual analytics, automated analysis techniques are combined with interactive data visualization with the aim to enable reasoning and hypothesis generation. The methodology is particularly well-fit for the discovery of unexpected phenomena in large and dynamic datasets; it is the best approach for tackling open problems for which no clear solutions seem to exist, and even the questions are unknown.

Our research focus is on visual designinteraction design, and scalability. Although genomics and genetics are the principal domains that we're active in, we are also investigating applications in quantified self, health management, energy and art. For example, we investigate how to give people insight in their health data by combining data mining and visualization, and support health professionals in identifying people who require follow-up.

Current research team:

Daniel Alcaide Villar, Georgia Panagiotidou

Teaching: courses summary


     View the publications list of J. Aerts.


After receiving my Master's degree in bio-engineering from Leuven University (Belgium) and spending several years in the pharmaceutical industry, I received my PhD from Wageningen University (Netherlands) on the topic of chicken genome assembly and annotation. During a post-doctoral position at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh in Scotland from 2005 until 2008, I contributed to the cow genome sequencing and annotation project. From spring 2008 to fall 2010 I worked as a senior bioinformatician at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge in England to work on structural variation in primate genomes in general and human in particular.
I currently hold an associate professorship at the Faculty of Engineering at Leuven University, Belgium.

Active Projects: