Applications and Challenges in Data Science and Bioinformatics

Prof. Wandaliz Torres-García, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez


Date: February 1, 2019, 10:30 am

Place: IQ-106A

Abstract: The amount of molecular information available nowadays due to the advances on biotechnology platforms is huge. More and more molecular information is being collected to better characterize complex biomedical systems, this creates a bottleneck on the data discovery process if data-handling and learning procedures are not efficient. Many molecular assays have allowed the discovery of important markers for the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases with the proper statistical engine to back them up. Because of this, there are tons of opportunities and areas to investigate in the intersection of data science and molecular biology (i.e. bioinformatics and computational biology). In this seminar, the speaker will present a brief description of several collaborative projects (e.g. cellular therapies manufacturing, endometriosis, breast cancer, among others); highlighting the need for robust data-science pipelines to enable meaningful discoveries on these projects. Also, data-science challenges that provide tons of exciting research opportunities will be discussed.

Biography: Wandaliz Torres-García is an associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus since August 2014. She has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with concentrations in multivariate statistical learning and data mining from Arizona State University. Several years of research experience in the application and development of data mining methodologies to handle large amounts of multivariate data sets and elucidate suitable knowledge in complex areas such as cancer genomics and disease prognosis. Through a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson, Wandaliz implemented a computational tool in collaboration with a highly interdisciplinary research team that allows domain users to perform big data analytics with a user-friendly platform. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of applied statistics, statistical learning, simulation, bioinformatics, and big-data analytics. Furthermore, her experiences in highly diverse research teams have made her an active advocate to participate of programs at various levels (NSF GK-12 programs, CREST, CMaT, among others) that promotes learning, training, and mentoring within a collaborative and multidisciplinary environment needed to solve difficult problems.


Contact Information:

Wandaliz Torres-García, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Industrial Engineering Department
University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez
Phone: (787) 832-4040 x3063