Faculty Directory
Luis A.N. Amaral

Erastus Otis Haven Professor

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and (by courtesy) Physics and Astronomy


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech E150
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-7850Email Luis Amaral


Amaral Lab


Chemical and Biological Engineering


PhD Program in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences

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Ph.D. Physics, Boston University, Boston, MA

M.S. Physics, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

B.S. Physics, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Research Interests

Amaral, a native of Portugal, conducts and directs research that provides insight into the emergence, evolution, and stability of complex social and biological systems. His research aims to address some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity, including the mitigation of errors in healthcare settings, the characterization of the conditions fostering innovation and creativity, and the limits of machine intelligence.

Amaral has published over a 180 scientific peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals, including Nature, Science, PNAS, Cell, and PLOS Biology. His research has been featured in numerous media sources, both in the US and abroad. Professor Amaral has received a CAREER award from the National Institutes of Health, was named a Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research by the W. M. Keck Foundation, and has been selected as an Early Career Scientist by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, and of the Network Science Society. In 2020, he received the Provost's Award for Exemplary Faculty Service.

Selected Publications

  • Bernasek, Sebastian M.; Hur, Suzy S.J.; Peláez-Restrepo, Nicolás; Lachance, Jean François Boisclair; Bakker, Rachael; Navarro, Heliodoro Tejedor; Sanchez-Luege, Nicelio; Amaral, Luıs A.N.; Bagheri, Neda; Rebay, Ilaria; Carthew, Richard W., Ratiometric sensing of Pnt and Yan transcription factor levels confers ultrasensitivity to photoreceptor fate transitions in Drosophila, Development (Cambridge) (2023).
  • Stoeger, Thomas; Grant, Rogan A.; McQuattie-Pimentel, Alexandra C.; Anekalla, Kishore R.; Liu, Sophia S.; Tejedor-Navarro, Heliodoro; Singer, Benjamin D.; Abdala-Valencia, Hiam; Schwake, Michael; Tetreault, Marie Pier; Perlman, Harris; Balch, William E.; Chandel, Navdeep S.; Ridge, Karen M.; Sznajder, Jacob I.; Morimoto, Richard I.; Misharin, Alexander V.; Budinger, G. R.Scott; Nunes Amaral, Luis A., Aging is associated with a systemic length-associated transcriptome imbalance, Nature Aging (2022).
  • Lei, Weihua; Alves, Luiz G.A.; Amaral, Luís A.Nunes, Forecasting the evolution of fast-changing transportation networks using machine learning, Nature communications (2022).
  • Liu, Jenny; Amaral, Luís A.N.; Keten, Sinan, A new approach for extracting information from protein dynamics, Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics (2023).
  • Amaral, Luís A.Nunes, A cautionary tale from the machine scientist, Nature Machine Intelligence (2022).
  • Stoeger, Thomas; Nunes Amaral, Luís A., The characteristics of early-stage research into human genes are substantially different from subsequent research, PLoS biology (2022).
  • Pah, Adam R.; Schwartz, David L.; Sanga, Sarath; Clopton, Zachary D.; DiCola, Peter; Mersey, Rachel Davis; Alexander, Charlotte S.; Hammond, Kristian J.; Amaral, Luís A.Nunes, How to build a more open justice system, Science 369(6500):134-136 (2020).
  • Nunes Amaral, Luís A.; Moreira, João A.G.; Dunand, Murielle L.; Navarro, Heliodoro Tejedor; Lee, Hyojun Ada, Long-term patterns of gender imbalance in an industry without ability or level of interest differences, PloS one 15(4) (2020).
  • Bechel, Meagan A.; Pah, Adam R.; Shi, Hanyu; Mehrotra, Sanjay; Persell, Stephen D.; Weiner, Shayna; Wunderink, Richard G.; Nunes Amaral, Luís A.; Weiss, Curtis H., A quantitative approach for the analysis of clinician recognition of acute respiratory distress syndrome using electronic health record data, PloS one 14(9) (2019).
  • Cassidy, Justin J.; Bernasek, Sebastian M.; Bakker, Rachael; Giri, Ritika; Peláez, Nicolás; Eder, B.; Bobrowska, Anna; Bagheri, Neda; Nunes Amaral, Luis A.; Carthew, Richard W., Repressive Gene Regulation Synchronizes Development with Cellular Metabolism, Cell 178(4):980-992.e17 (2019).
  • Poncela-Casasnovas, Julia; Gerlach, Martin; Aguirre, Nathan; Amaral, Luís A.N., Large-scale analysis of micro-level citation patterns reveals nuanced selection criteria, Nature human behaviour 3(6):568-575 (2019).
  • Stoeger, Thomas; Gerlach, Martin; Morimoto, Richard I.; Amaral, Luís A.Nunes, Reply to “Far away from the lamppost”, PLoS biology 16(12) (2018).
  • Gerlach, Martin; Farb, Beatrice; Revelle, William; Nunes Amaral, Luís A., A robust data-driven approach identifies four personality types across four large data sets, Nature human behaviour 2(10):735-742 (2018).
  • Liu, Sophia S.; Hockenberry, Adam J.; Jewett, Michael C.; Amaral, Luís A.N., A novel framework for evaluating the performance of codon usage bias metrics, Journal of the Royal Society Interface 15(138) (2018).
  • Hockenberry, Adam J.; Stern, Aaron J.; Amaral, Luis A N; Jewett, Michael Christopher, Diversity of translation initiation mechanisms across bacterial species is driven by environmental conditions and growth demands, Molecular biology and evolution 35(3):582-592 (2018).
  • Zeng, Xiao Han T.; Duch, Jordi; Sales-Pardo, Marta; Moreira, João A.G.; Radicchi, Filippo; Ribeiro, Haroldo V.; Woodruff, Teresa K.; Amaral, Luís A.Nunes, Differences in Collaboration Patterns across Discipline, Career Stage, and Gender, PLoS biology 14(11) (2016).
  • Winter, Peter B.; Brielmann, Renee M.; Timkovich, Nicholas P.; Navarro, Helio T.; Teixeira-Castro, Andreia; Morimoto, Richard I.; Amaral, Luis A.N., A network approach to discerning the identities of C. elegans in a free moving population, Scientific reports 6 (2016).
  • Hockenberry, Adam J.; Pah, Adam R.; Jewett, Michael C.; Amaral, Luís A.N., Leveraging genome-wide datasets to quantify the functional role of the anti-Shine-Dalgarno sequence in regulating translation efficiency, Open Biology 7(1) (2017).
  • Liu, Sophia S.; Hockenberry, Adam J.; Lancichinetti, Andrea; Jewett, Michael C.; Amaral, Luís A.N., NullSeq, PLoS computational biology 12(11) (2016).
  • Peláez, Nicolás; Gavalda-Miralles, Arnau; Wang, Bao; Navarro, Heliodoro Tejedor; Gudjonson, Herman; Rebay, Ilaria; Dinner, Aaron R.; Katsaggelos, Aggelos K; Amaral, Luis A N; Carthew, Richard W, Dynamics and heterogeneity of a fate determinant during transition towards cell differentiation, eLife 4(NOVEMBER2015) (2015).
  • Moreira, João A.G.; Zeng, Xiao Han T.; Nunes Amaral, Luís A., The distribution of the asymptotic number of citations to sets of publications by a researcher or from an academic department are consistent with a discrete lognormal model, PloS one 10(11) (2015).