About this Event
Speaker: Stephen Yi, Ph.D., UT Austin
Title: Systems biology and network models for precision oncology: a step closer from bench to bedside
Abstract: Tumor heterogeneity poses enormous challenges in cancer research and clinical translation. Numerous studies have been conducted to produce clinically relevant pharmacological response forecasts by integrating modern machine learning algorithms and several data types. Insufficient patient numbers and lack of knowledge of the molecular targets for each drug under study limit their use. Leveraging multi-omics and network biology holds great promise for the next generation of precision oncology. Towards this end, here we present our recent efforts, navigating network architecture and transfer learning for improved precision oncology. We build comprehensive cancer-specific gene regulatory networks to systematically analyze the effect of mutations on target gene interactions and signaling pathway rerouting. In addition, we use single-cell RNA-seq based transfer learning to contextualize patients’ tumor cells in terms of their more similar cell lines with known susceptibility to drug combinations. Together, we identify optimum match options and prioritize combination therapy based on tumor compositions at various resolution levels, to facilitate personalized treatments and data-driven clinical trials.
About Speaker: Dr. Stephen Yi is the Director of Bioinformatics at Livestrong Cancer Institutes and Dell Medical School of the University of Texas at Austin. He is also faculty at the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences and Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Programs. He created the first curriculum on computational biology and bioinformatics in the Department of Computer Science and has been teaching Computer Science undergrads and honors programs for the past several years. Professor Yi was conferred with numerous awards, including an NIH Outstanding Investigator Award, a Komen Scholar award, an NIH Early Career Development Award, a Scialog Fellow (jointly by RCSA and CZI), and Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award, for his work on signal transduction, network biology and evolution in human disease and translational therapeutics. He received his doctoral degree with distinction from the University of Iowa. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.