Machine learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) take over nearly every aspect of our lives, from the books we get recommended for purchase online to the coupons we receive in grocery stores. ML and AI do also not halt at the doorstep of biomedical research and clinical practice. In the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics, researchers study the theoretical foundation of AI and ML methods and how these tools can be harnessed to understand and cure disease. In this lecture, Dr. Danuser, Chairman of Bioinformatics, will offer an intuitive introduction to the concepts of AI and illustrate concrete applications of AI in the diagnosis of cancer and the discovery of new drugs.
About Dr. Gaundenz Danuser
Since July 2015 Gaudenz Danuser has been appointed as theinaugural chair of the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics. He also holds the Patrick E. Haggerty Distinguished Chair in Basic Biomedical Science and is a Scholar of the Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Before moving to UTSW, Danuser directed research laboratories at ETH Zurich (2002 – 2003), at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (2003 – 2009), and at Harvard Medical School (2009 – 2014).
Trained as an engineer (geodetic and electrical engineering/computer science), he entered the field of cell biology as a postdoctoral fellow in the Program for Architectural Dynamics of Living Cells at the MBL in Woods Hole. Since then, he has focused his research on the question how chemical and mechanical signals integrate in the regulation of cytoskeleton dynamics and membrane trafficking.
With his CPRIT recruitment he has redirected his efforts towards understanding the implications of mechanical and chemical cell shape regulation in migration and survival of the metastatic cell, including the roles mechanical cues play in conferring what his lab calls ‘mechanical drug resistance’.
To address these questions his lab develops innovative quantitative imaging methods to experimentally probe these processes and uses mathematical modeling to compile the data in mechanistic systems analyses. He is a devoted teacher in areas of computational cell biology, cellular biophysics, and the theory of measurement applied to cell biology. He is co-chair of the computational and systems biology track in UTSW's graduate school.
His contributions to cell biology and biophysics have been recognized by several awards and honors. Recent nominations include Recruitment Awards from the UT STARS and CPRIT programs (2012), the Charles Edward Holt Memorial Lectureship at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2011), a Transformative R01 Research Award from the NIH Director’s Office (2009 - 2014), and the Michael and Kate Barany Award for Young Investigators by The Biophysical Society (2009).