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Center for Computational Biology Seminar: Dr. Anne Carpenter, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Seminar: Bioinformatics Seminars | April 26 | 4-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

Center for Computational Biology

Title: Tackling world health problems through high-throughput microscopy imaging and analysis

Images contain rich information about the state of cells, tissues, and organisms. We work with biomedical researchers around the world to extract quantitative information from images, particularly in high-content screening experiments involving physiologically relevant model systems. As the biological systems and phenotypes of interest become more complex, so are the computational approaches needed to properly extract the information of interest; we continue to bridge the gap between biologists’ needs and the latest in computational science (e.g., deep learning). Beyond measuring features that biologists specify, we extract more from images through profiling experiments using the Cell Painting assay, where thousands of morphological features are measured from each cell’s image. We are working to harvest similarities in these “profiles” for grouping genes, identifying the functional impact of cancer-associated alleles, discovering disease-associated phenotypes, and identifying novel therapeutics. Ultimately, we aim to make perturbations in cell morphology as computable as genomics data. All novel algorithms and approaches from our laboratory are released as open-source software, including CellProfiler, CellProfiler Analyst, and cytominer.

Dr. Carpenter has been a Principal Investigator at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT since 2007. Carpenter focused on high-throughput image analysis during her postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT’s CSAIL (Computer Sciences/Artificial Intelligence Laboratory). Her PhD is in cell biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Carpenter has been named an NSF CAREER awardee, a Massachusetts Academy of Sciences fellow (its youngest at the time), and a Genome Technology “Rising Young Investigator”. The team’s open-source CellProfiler software is used by thousands of biologists worldwide.

Light refreshments will be provided at reception from 3:30-4:00m, 125 LKS foyer.