BIOKDD '10 Invited Speaker

 Teresa M. Przytycka, Ph.D.

Towards Uncovering Pathways Connecting Genotype with Phenotype

 New experimental techniques facilitating genome-wide measurements of various molecular quantities provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to gain new insight into the functioning of cellular systems. Among the key goals that researchers strive to achieve with these diverse data is uncovering and explaining the relation between genotype and phenotype. How are genotypic changes propagated along molecular pathways? On one hand, in complex diseases, different genotypic perturbations often lead to the same disease phenotype, presumably dys-regulating the same pathways of the cellular system. On the other hand, there are numerous examples where the impact of a large genotypic change such as gene copy number variations appears to be “buffered” and has no apparent phenotypic effect.  I will discuss systems level approaches, combining various types of experimental data, statistical data analysis, and new algorithmic techniques developed in the quest to address these questions.


Teresa Przytycka obtained her undergraduate  education from the Department of Mathematics, Mechanics and Computer Science University of Warsaw, Poland, and Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada. Subsequently, she pursued a career in Computer Science (theory of algorithms) and graph theory, publishing widely in these areas.  After winning the Sloan DEO Fellowship she turned her research interest towards computational molecular biology. She started her computational biology career in the laboratory of Dr. George Rose, Johns Hopkins University working on computational aspects of protein folding and protein structure. Subsequently she was awarded a Burroughs Welcome Fellowship in Computational Biology and an NIH K01 award. She is currently heading a research group “Algorithms and Graph Theory for Computational and Systems Biology”  at the National Center of Biotechnology Information, NIH.  Her current research interests include computational analysis of biological networks and protein-protein interactions, evolutionary and comparative genomics, and genotype-phenotype associations. She is an Editor of several professional journals including BMC Bioinformatics and IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.