James Lyons – Weiler, PhDis the Editor-in-Chief at Science, Public Health Policy, and the Law. He earned his PhD in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation in Biology. He won a Postdoctoral in Computational Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University, and has served as Senior Research Scientist, and Scientific Director in support of translational research, systems biology, sequence analysis, and the creation of novel algorithmic solutions for the analysis of complex and challenging data.
A lifelong student, he developed a keen interest to the big questions in biology: how new species are formed, why is there so much species diversity in the tropics? He studied Zoology and Paleoecology at Ohio State University, taking additional courses in Molecular Biology, Molecular Evolution, Plant Biology, Biogeography, and Paleontology, and Population Ecology, and Evolutionary Trends in Flowering Plants. His research project brought him to the Cuyabeno Faunistic Reserve in lowland Amazonian Ecuador, to study (with Dr. Paul Colinvaux) the effects of global climate change on the Amazonian rainforest ecosystem. For those projects, he derived new computational methods for integrating species diversity patterns using ordination methods. He proposed a dynamic environment hypothesis for species diversity in his Master’s Thesis (OSU Link, Google Books Link).
He published twelve papers as a result of his PhD research, and quickly became recognized as a thought leader in the area of complex analysis in biological systems. He developed a new field of inquiry in the area of computational statistics for phylogenetics – the science of estimating species’ evolutionary relationships. It was well known that different algorithms for phylogenetic analysis could give different results given the same data.
Dr. Weiler is author of three books: “Ebola: An Evolving Story“(2019) “Cures vs. Profits: Successes in Translational Research“(2016), and “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism” (2015).
His areas of interest include: Developmental disorders, including but not limited to autism/ASD, biomarker development for complex disorders, immunology, toxicology, cancer biology, collaborative science, integrative translational biomedical research, cancer receptors, phased biomarker development, microarray data analysis, proteomic data analysis, machine-learning based prediction model optimization, information theory.
Given the immense potential for knowledge from biomedical research to reduce human pain and suffering, he does not tolerate unethical or lazy practices in research, and believes that senior faculty members should see junior faculty not as competitors, but as their progeny: their legacy. His popularity with students and researchers from all walks of biomedicine and biology allowed him to branch out from cancer to offer bioinformatics data analysis services to investigators across the campus.