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Discovering disease subtypes through the integration of multiple types of omics data

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  • Fri, 12/08/2017 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Discovering disease subtypes through the integration of multiple types of omics data

Computer Science Colloquium Series
Dr. Sorin Draghici

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Innovation,
Wayne State University;

Date:  Friday, December 8, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Chrysler Hall North, G100

Abstract: A recent paper in The New England Journal of Medicine  and a follow-up in The New York Times revealed that 1.4 million women/year receive unnecessary cancer treatments  costing the society $32.2 billion/year for breast cancer alone. Furthermore, the personal costs in pain and suffering are tremendous. At the same time, some patients do not receive needed treatment. For instance, chemotherapy is not routinely recommended for patients with early stage lung cancer. However, the disease will recur in a large number of these patients, leading to additional suffering and premature death. The ability to correctly identify disease subtypes and patient subgroups is a pre-condition to the ability to distinguish between patients who are in danger and need the most aggressive treatments, and those who will never progress, recur, or develop resistance. Clearly, we do not have this ability at this time.  Here, we will present an approach that is able to integrate multiple types of omics data (methylation, gene expression and micro RNA) and distinguish between more and less aggressive types of tumors based on their molecular profiles alone.  This technique has the potential to significantly reduce the health care costs while simultaneously improve the patient  care by helping select the correct treatment for  each patient.

Bio:Dr. Draghici has obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from "Politehnica" University in Bucharest, Romania followed by a Ph.D. degree from the University of St-Andrews, UK. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications as well as 8 book chapters. To date, his work has gathered over 10,000 Google Scholar citations. He has also authored the  “Data Analysis Tools for DNA Microarrays”, published by CRC Press/Chapman and Hall in a first print in 2003, followed by a second revised print in 2005. A second title, the 1,000 page monograph “Data Analysis of Microarray Data using R” was published in 2011. His research group developed several bioinformatics data analysis software tools that are currently used by over 12,000 researchers around the world. Dr. Draghici is co-inventor on 4 patent applications in the field of bioinformatics. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, as well as of the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology.  Currently, Dr. Draghici is the head of the Intelligent Systems and Bioinformatics in the Department of Computer Science at Wayne State University ( and the Director of the James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute at Wayne State University and the head of the Systems Biology in Reproduction Section of the Perinatology Research Branch, National Institute for Child Health and Development.

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