Ilya Shmulevich

October 14, 1969 - April 13, 2024

Ilya, 54, died peacefully on the early morning of April 13, 2024, surrounded by his family. He lived with a profound understanding that at its core, life is about love.


Ilya not only lived but thrived in the present. He was grateful for each day, no matter the setting or circumstances.


Ilya would want us to meditate and contemplate our innermost Self, and to remember:


“Keep living day by day. Living every moment peacefully, happily. Every day is a new day. Every day I am grateful for it.”


Early Life and Education


Born in Moscow, Russia, to Vladimir and Marina Shmulevich in 1969, Ilya spent his childhood in Russia until age 11. He immigrated to the United States with his parents, his grandmother Rosa Katsman, and his dog Jimmy. They settled in Ohio. Ilya lived there until he enrolled in Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1987.


While a freshman at Purdue, Ilya met Janette Moreno. They married in 1994.


At Purdue, Ilya completed bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering, focusing his dissertation on the enumeration of monotone Boolean functions and a very creative application of these functions in automated key recognition in music.


Professional years–and a growing family


His postdoctoral work took Janette and him to the Netherlands in 1997. There, he spent one year collaborating and publishing in the field of music cognition.


In 1998, Ilya and Janette continued to Finland, where he focused on his area of expertise: signal processing. While in Finland, his first child, Anna, was born in 1999. It was also there when Ilya became interested in computational biology.


This newfound interest led him in 2001 to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where he was soon appointed assistant professor. Ilya’s knowledge of biology blossomed while working with colleagues there.


His son Andrei was born during his time working in Houston in 2002.


To Seattle


Ilya’s commitment to cancer research led him to the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle in 2005, where he accepted a position as an associate professor and was soon promoted to full professor.


During his 19 years at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), Ilya became a leading figure in the cancer research community through his pioneering work in computational and mathematical modeling of biological systems. He played a key role in developing a crucial data platform that now supports tens of thousands of cancer researchers and clinicians globally. Known for his generosity and collaborative spirit within ISB, Ilya eagerly shared his research and ideas with colleagues, enriching the scientific community with his knowledge and enthusiasm.


Personal Life


Ilya had a lifelong passion for music, enjoying a wide variety of genres and playing piano since he was six. An accomplished pianist, he eagerly shared his performances and delighted in discussing music with others, much like he approached his professional work.


Ilya was an avid bicyclist throughout his life. Residing in Seattle, he chose not to renew his driver’s license, embracing cycling as his main mode of transport. He completed the annual Seattle to Portland ride, a challenging 200-mile journey, six times—including once on a fixie, a bike with no gears or brakes, and another time finishing the entire distance in just one day.


Ilya cherished the outdoors, especially embarking on bike camping trips with his family, equipped with camping gear for overnight stays at nearby campgrounds. His adventurous spirit led him on week-long cycling journeys, including a notable trek around Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.


Like his passion for music, Ilya was an avid reader, exploring a broad range of literature. In recent years, he drew particular inspiration and strength from spiritual writings across various global traditions.


His truest love


Ilya is survived by his wife, Janette; his children, Anna and Andrei; his parents, Vladimir and Marina; his aunts, Evelina (Lina) Elyahu with her husband and daughters, and Jane Pivor; his cousins, Yury Pivor along with his wife and children, and Lily Putin with her husband and son; as well as his parents-in-law, Mike and Doris; and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Raquel and Zack.


Ilya’s greatest joy and priority was his family. Together, they shared countless adventures and laughter, and his love for them remains a lasting presence in their hearts.

Laying-in Ceremony


Visitation: Tuesday, April 23 from 10am-3pm US Pacific Time

Recompose, 4 South Idaho Street, Seattle, WA 98134, USA


Laying-in Ceremony:  Wednesday, April 24, 10:00-11:30 am US Pacific time

You can join virtually by clicking the link below. The waiting room will open a few minutes before the ceremony begins.


Zoom Meeting ID: 812 7328 2884

Telephone: +1 253 205 0468


A Celebration of Ilya’s Joyous Life:  Wednesday, April 24, 2pm-4pm, US Pacific Time

Institute for Systems Biology, 401 Terry Ave North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA


Donations in honor of Ilya


Institute for Systems Biology  give.isbscience.org


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center https://secure.fredhutch.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=adf_honmem



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