October 16-17, 2017

This workshop will focus on information storage, coding, and transmission properties that exist among structural and sequential features of biopolymers and proteins. Of particular interest are the prospects for developing new sequence-to-structure analytics and a more general understanding of functional, information-bearing mechanisms of DNA and RNA.

seminar organizer christian reidys

Objectives: Finding New Ways to Process DNA Data

The prevailing framework of sequence alignment tacitly assumes that DNA "information" is tantamount to the nucleotide sequence itself.  But alternative perspectives could be useful.

Suppose for a moment that the simple relations among positions in nucleotide in sequences alone inadequately characterize the biological information associated with the segment of DNA or RNA. 

This workshop aims primarily to investigate new ways to assess information contained in DNA sequences. The universal transcription into folded RNA may suggest that sequence and structure have to be considered together in the context of information inference.

The workshop will specifically:

  1. Explore prospects for novel notions of sequence similarity, using structure as well as sequence. 
  2. Consider the possible impact on instrumentation and analytical infrastructure, should important shape/sequence analytic paradigms emerge.

Presentations: Invited Speakers and Abstracts

keynote speaker michael watermanMichael Waterman
Professor of Biological Sciences
University of Southern California

Professor Waterman studies molecular sequence data using computational approaches. His work concentrates on the creation and application of mathematics, statistics and computer science to molecular biology, particularly to DNA, RNA, and protein sequence data. Professor Waterman is the co-developer of the Smith-Waterman algorithm for sequence comparison and of the Lander-Waterman formulas for physical mapping and sequencing.

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shrikant maneShrikant Mane
Yale Center for Genome Analysis

Under the leadership of Shrikant Mane, the Yale Center for Genome Analysis has established itself as as one of the world's most scientifically productive and accomplished genome centers. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals. He is also one of the principal investigators of a $12 million grant from NIH/NHGRI to establish the Yale Center for Genome Analysis.

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Chris BarrettChris Barrett
Executive Director and Professor
Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech

A leader in interdisciplinary research, Chris Barrett has cultivated a scientific organization active in theoretical and applied research in complex systems, particularly those related to biological and social computation, interdependent societal infrastructures, computational epidemiology, and synthetic information systems. His personal research is largely devoted to the development and use of large-scale, high-performance synthetic information systems.

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christian reidysChristian Reidys
Director and Professor
Mathematical Biocomplexity Laboratory

Since 2016, Christian Reidys has served as the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech's Thermo Fisher Scientific Fellow in Advanced Systems for Information Biology. His research interests are pure and discrete mathematics, computational biology, molecular evolution, structure, prediction and evolution of RNA, DNA combinatorics and information theory, and the topology of large data sets.

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roger changRoger L. Chang
Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard Medical School

Roger Chang's research interests include engineering synthetic RNA nanostructures that self-assemble in bacterial cells. He developed a landmark model for structural systems biology of metabolism, applied towards the study of radioresistance in D. radiodurans. He earned his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from the University of California San Diego.

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karissa sanbonmatsuKarissa Sanbonmatsu
Theoretical Biology Biophysics Group
Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Sanbonmatsu team uses computational and experimental approaches to understand the mechanism of a diverse array of non-coding RNA systems, including ribosomes, riboswitches and long non-coding RNAs. Originally focusing on large-scale simulations of the ribosome, her group has expanded into joint computational/experimental studies of riboswitches and purely experimental studies of long non-coding RNAs. 

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Supporters: Our Symposium Sponsors

This symposium was made possible through the generous support of Thermo Fisher Scientific and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. 

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