Center for Computational Biology Seminar: Dr. Quaid Morris, Professor, Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto
Seminar | October 3 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition
Title: Making sense of the noise in cancer data
During carcinogenesis, cells accumulate 1000s of somatic DNA mutations. Driver mutations bestow fitness advantages that lead to selective sweeps that increase that frequency of mutated cells compared to those lacking the driver. These sweeps also increase the frequency of passenger mutations accumulated since the last such sweep. These mutations have little impact on cell function but provide information about the mutational processes that generated them. Both their type (i.e., A to C) and genomic locations depend not only what caused the mutation -- e.g., UV light but also the chromatin state of the cell that acquired it. My lab developed Bayesian inference methods to classify somatic mutations into different subclones that correspond to different sweeps. Our methods also use phylogenetic approaches to determine the relative order in which the sweeps occurred. We are now developing supervised and unsupervised learning methods to interpret this historical record of the cancer, in order to use the timing and patterns of somatic mutations to reconstruct the changes that a normal cell underwent during its transformation into a cancerous cell.
Light refreshments will be provided at reception from 4:00pm - 4:30pm, 177 Life Sciences Addition building.