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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Gene Brice Colloquium Series presents

2011 - Vidyasagar (image)

Mathukumalli Vidyasagar

Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Systems Biology Science
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science
The University of Texas at Dallas



Statistical methods in cancer biology

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 12% to 13% of all deaths. During the past decades, significant progress has been made in reducing mortality from several forms of cancer. However, some forms of cancer such as pancreatic, liver and lung still offer very low survival rates. Also, no two instances of cancer are alike, and a "personalized" approach is the way to go. In this talk three distinct problems in cancer biology that are amenable to statistical analysis are studied, namely: (a) separating the drivers of cancer (DNA mutations that cause cancer) from the passengers (DNA mutations that are caused by cancer), (b) reverse-engineering genetic regulatory networks from micro-array data, and (c) classifying cancer patients as to the likelihood of responding to natural product therapy. Each of these problems is formulated in terms of pattern recognition and/or machine learning, the progress made is presented, and the challenges that remain are discussed. The overall message is that a team consisting of both engineers and biologists will stand a far better chance of making progress than otherwise.

Friday, April 1, 2011
Lecture 4:00 p.m. - McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall
Reception 5:00pm - Martel Hall



Mathukumalli Vidyasagar was born in Guntur, India on September 29, 1947. He received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, in 1965, 1967 and 1969 respectively. Between 1969 and 1989, he was a Professor of Electrical Engineering at various universities in the USA and Canada. His last overseas job was with the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, where he served between 1980 and 1989. In 1989 he returned to India as the Director of the newly created Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) in Bangalore, under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Between 1989 and 2000, he built up CAIR into a leading research laboratory with about 40 scientists and a total of about 85 persons, working in areas such as flight control, robotics, neural networks, and image processing. In 2000 he moved to the Indian private sector as an Executive Vice President of India's largest software company, Tata Consultancy Services. In the city of Hyderabad, he created the Advanced Technology Center, an industrial R&D laboratory of around 80 engineers, working in areas such as computational biology, quantitative finance, e-security, identity management, and open source software to support Indian languages. In 2009 he retired from TCS at the age of 62, and joined the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas, as a Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Systems Biology Science. In March 2010 he was named as the Founding Head of the newly created Bioengineering Department. His current research interests are in the application of stochastic processes and stochastic modeling to problems in computational biology, control systems and quantitative finance.

Host: A.C. Antoulas