University Research Chair
School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario Canada N2L 3G1
Tel: +1 519-888-4567 ext. 33336
Fax: +1 519-885-1208
Email: lila "at"

Lila Kari is Professor and University Research Chair in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, where she moved from her previously held position in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Western Ontario (1993-2017). She received her M.Sc. in 1987 from the University of Bucharest, Romania, and her Ph.D. in 1991 for her thesis "On Insertions and Deletions in Formal Languages", for which she received the Rolf Nevanlinna doctoral thesis award for the best doctoral thesis in mathematics thesis in Finland. Author of more than 200 peer reviewed articles, Professor Kari is regarded as one of the world's experts in the area of biomolecular computation, that is using biological, chemical and other natural systems to perform computations. In 2015 she received the Rozenberg Tulip Award for the DNA Computer Scientist of the Year, awarded at the 21st International conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming, Harvard University, USA , for her contributions in advancing formal theoretical models and exemplary leadership in the field. The award is presented by the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering , ISNSCE, annually and recognizes a prominent scientist who has shown continuous contributions, pioneering, original contributions, and who has influenced the development of the field.

She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Theoretical Computer Science-C (theory of natural computing), as well as Editor-in-Chief of the Springer Natural Computing Book Series. She has served as Steering Committee Chair for the DNA Computing and Molecular Programming conference series, as Steering Committee member for the Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation conference series, as well as on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation, and Engineering. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Natural Computing and Journal of Universal Computer Science , on the advisory board for the EATCS-Springer series Monographs in Theoretical Computer Science and Texts in Theoretical Computer Science, and was section editor for the Handbook of Natural Computing (Springer Verlag, 2012). She has additionally served as a member of the Board of Directors of the FIELDS Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, the UK EPSRC Peer Review College , on the NSERC Grant Selection Committee on Computing and Information Systems, the NSERC Herzberg-Brockhouse-Polanyi Prize joint selection committee, and NSERC Steacie Memorial Fellowship committee. At the University of Western Ontario she has received numerous awards, including the Florence Bucke Science Prize, the Faculty of Science Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and Canada Research Chair in Biocomputing (2002-2006, and again in 2007-2011). At the University of Waterloo she received the School of Computer Science Oustanding Performance Award in 2018. Her current research focusses on biodiversity informatics, as well as theoretical aspects of bioinformation and biocomputation, including models of cellular computation, nanocomputation by DNA self-assembly and Watson-Crick complementarity in formal languages.