It is our great pleasure to welcome our invited speakers to [BC]2, who will present cutting-edge ideas and research in computational biology and bioinformatics.

Aleksandra Walczak

Laboratoire de Physique - Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
Group’s webpage 

After finishing her PhD in Physics at the University of California (US), where she worked on stochastic gene expression modelling, Aleksandra Walczak pursued her postdoctoral studies in Theoretical Physics at Princeton University (US), where she studied signal processing in gene regulatory networks.

She is currently a CNRS researcher at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris (FR) and investigates the development and collective behaviour of the immune system. Using a combination of data analysis and statistical modelling, Aleksandra Walczak and her group aim to develop theoretical frameworks that describe how different immune receptors interact with pathogens and trigger the body's immune response.

Aleksandra Walczak is presenting in the session Pathogens, immune systems and host-pathogen interactions: an arms race with infectious agents.

Thomas Fuchs

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA
Group’s webpage

Thomas Fuchs received his PhD in Computer Sciences from ETH Zurich (CH), where he worked on machine learning in Systems Biology and Medicine. After his postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology (US), he joined NASA as a research technologist in the Engineering and Science Division of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (US). Thomas Fuchs is currently an Associate Professor for machine learning at Weill-Cornell University, and director of the Warren Alpert Center for Digital and Computational Pathology in New York City.

Thomas Fuchs is also leading the Medical Machine Learning and Computational Pathology group at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His group is developing and applying quantitative methods using machine learning, computer vision and biostatistics to analyse digital microscopy slides from pathology departments and to relate the resulting statistical descriptors to patient outcomes. Furthermore, the group aims to improve clinical practice in pathology by developing intelligent decision-support systems.

Thomas Fuchs is presenting in the session Artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision: expanding the bioinformatics toolkit.

Rachel Freathy

University of Exeter, UK
Group’s webpage

Rachel Freathy completed her PhD entitled “Molecular Genetics of type 2 Diabetes and Body Size” at the University of Exeter (UK) in 2007. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Exeter, the Northwestern University (USA) and the University of Bristol (UK), looking at the role of genes in fetal and childhood growth. In 2014, Rachel Freathy received a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society. She is currently an Associate Professor and Welcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Exeter.

Rachel Freathy’s research focuses on identifying associations between maternal and fetal genetic traits. By using genome-wide association studies and meta-analyses, she is investigating how fetal and maternal genetic variants influence offspring birth weight and the associated risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Rachel Freathy is presenting in the session Population genomics in human health: relating genotypes to phenotypes.

Tami Lieberman

MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Group’s webpage

Tami Lieberman received her PhD in Systems Biology from Harvard University (USA) developing new genomic approaches to trace bacterial evolution in the body of infected patients. During her postdoctoral training at MIT (USA), she further developed these approaches, to better understand how microbes colonise healthy individuals. She currently is a Hermann L. F. von Helmholtz Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor at the US Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science of MIT.

Tami Lieberman’s current research focuses on microbial real-time evolution, from the interplay between individual bacterial strains in the human microbiome and the selective pressure they encounter, to how their adaptation process varies from one person to another. To uncover the basic principles of colonization and adaptation, the lab uses evolutionary inference methods to follow the mutational history of bacteria.

Tami Lieberman is presenting in the session Evolutionary dynamics and ecology: where organisms, time and space interplay.

Olivier Elemento

Weill Cornell Medicine, USA
Group’s webpage

Olivier Elemento received his PhD in Computational Biology from University of Montpellier (FR) in 2003.  He then did postdoctoral training at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics Princeton University (USA). In 2008, he joined Weill Cornell Medicine - the medical school of Cornell University (USA) - where he is now Director of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine (EIPM), as well Associate Professor at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Professor at the Department of Physiology and Biophysic and Associate Program Director at the Clinical and Translational Science Center (all at Weill Cornell Medicine).

The focus of Olivier Elemento’s research is on the systems biology of cancer with an emphasis on prostate cancer and hematological malignancies. Using different forms of high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, single-cell RNAseq) in combination with various computational methods and approaches, his lab aims to understand how tumours evolve at the genomic and epigenomic level, and how the identified cancer mutations rewire regulatory networks and pathway activities. 

Olivier Elemento is presenting in the session Cancer biology and precision medicine: from better understanding diseases to tailored treatments.