Blacksburg, VA, September 15, 2014—Virginia Bioinformatics Institute is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor Vida Abedi. She began her new position in the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) on September 15. 

Joining the institute from the University of Memphis, Abedi brings a specialized research portfolio that includes a text analytics tool called ARIANA (Adaptive Robust and Integrative Analysis for finding Novel Associations). 

“Investigation of the behavior of complex systems would greatly benefit from a multi-faceted approach,” said Abedi. “ARIANA is a scalable and customizable technology that can help generate new hypotheses in specialized fields such as immunology.”

ARIANA will play an important role in the creation of a multi-scale model that will allow the NIMML team to better understand the interactions between various stages of biological processes, such as inflammation or infection.  Multi-scale modeling, which has been used with great success in fields like physics or computer engineering, has become important to future discoveries in biomedicine. ARIANA will help interpret these models by generating hypotheses about potential new drug targets and biomarkers.

“Vida Abedi’s work in tuning engineering and mathematics to biological systems will be invaluable to building the multi-scale models needed for future growth of the NIMML program. We are looking forward to the results of her contributions,” said Josep Bassaganya-Riera, director of NIMML and professor at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.

Abedi obtained her PhD in computer engineering and her MS in bioinformatics from University of Memphis. In addition, she has an MS in cellular molecular medicine and a BA of Science in computer engineering as well as a BS in biochemistry from University of Ottawa. Her research interests are to use tools and techniques from engineering and mathematics to better understand biological systems.

September 16, 2014