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Add to Calendar 4/8/2016 11:00 am 4/8/2016 America/Chicago Physics Careers Seminar: "Physicist meets biology: a physicist's introduction to computational biology" DESCRIPTION:

As a Ph.D. graduate in Nuclear Experimental I embarked on a challenging transition from particle physics research to the field of computational biology. As a postdoc at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery since 2013 I have worked in a research group focused on studying gene regulatory networks and the regulation of gene expression in multiple contexts, including across multiple species, and across varying types of cancer. In such work we seek to understand how the genome of an organism is utilized to shape patterns of gene expression in cells, and how those patterns contribute to complex phenotypic traits, such as disease, or the variation among individuals and species. Specifically, we try to understand the biological significance of processes that contribute to the regulation of gene expression. I’ll introduce the basic biology of gene expression, i.e. the so called "Central Dogma" of how genes are utilized to produce proteins. I will briefly present an example of the work I’ve contributed to; an analysis of clinical gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, data representing patients diagnosed with six diverse types of cancer. I’ll also describe my career and educational path, and the programs I have participated in for people interested in such a transition. I’ll end with some concluding perspectives and advice based on my experience as a postdoc, and what it’s like to be a part of this fast-progressing field of bio-medical research. Questions are most welcome!

Bio: After finishing my B.S. degree in Physics and Math at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, I obtained my Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 2012. My thesis work was on the MuCap experiment, an effort to measure the singlet capture rate of the muon onto the proton to determine the pseudo-scalar coupling constant gp. Since then I’ve been at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in Madison, WI as a postdoc in the field of computational biology as a part of the computational informatics in medicine and biology (CIBM) program on the University of Wisconsin at Madison campus, and funded by the National Library of Medicine.

\n\nSPEAKER:

Dr. Sara Knaack, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

204 Loomis Laboratory (Interaction Room)

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Physics Careers Seminar: "Physicist meets biology: a physicist's introduction to computational biology"

Speaker Dr. Sara Knaack, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Date: 4/8/2016
Time: 11 a.m.
Location:

204 Loomis Laboratory (Interaction Room)

Event Contact: Lance Cooper
Sponsor:

Dept. of Physics

Event Type: Alumni Speaker Seminar
 

As a Ph.D. graduate in Nuclear Experimental I embarked on a challenging transition from particle physics research to the field of computational biology. As a postdoc at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery since 2013 I have worked in a research group focused on studying gene regulatory networks and the regulation of gene expression in multiple contexts, including across multiple species, and across varying types of cancer. In such work we seek to understand how the genome of an organism is utilized to shape patterns of gene expression in cells, and how those patterns contribute to complex phenotypic traits, such as disease, or the variation among individuals and species. Specifically, we try to understand the biological significance of processes that contribute to the regulation of gene expression. I’ll introduce the basic biology of gene expression, i.e. the so called "Central Dogma" of how genes are utilized to produce proteins. I will briefly present an example of the work I’ve contributed to; an analysis of clinical gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, data representing patients diagnosed with six diverse types of cancer. I’ll also describe my career and educational path, and the programs I have participated in for people interested in such a transition. I’ll end with some concluding perspectives and advice based on my experience as a postdoc, and what it’s like to be a part of this fast-progressing field of bio-medical research. Questions are most welcome!

Bio: After finishing my B.S. degree in Physics and Math at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, I obtained my Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 2012. My thesis work was on the MuCap experiment, an effort to measure the singlet capture rate of the muon onto the proton to determine the pseudo-scalar coupling constant gp. Since then I’ve been at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in Madison, WI as a postdoc in the field of computational biology as a part of the computational informatics in medicine and biology (CIBM) program on the University of Wisconsin at Madison campus, and funded by the National Library of Medicine.

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