Michael Segal is a Professor of Communication Systems Engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, known for his work in ad-hoc and sensor networks. After completing his undergraduate studies at Ben-Gurion University in 1994, Segal received a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Ben-Gurion University in 2000 under the supervision of Klara Kedem. The topic of his PhD Dissertation was: Covering point sets and accompanying problems. After continuing his studies with David G. Kirkpatrick at University of British Columbia, and Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Studies he joined the faculty at Ben-Gurion University in 2000, where he also served as the head of the Communication Systems Engineering department between 2005-2010. He is known (equally with his coauthors) for being first to analyze the analytical performance of the well-known Least Cluster Change (LCC) algorithm that is widely used in ad hoc networks for re-clustering in order to reduce the number of modifications. He also was one of the first to introduce and analyze the construction of multi-criteria spanners for ad hoc networks.
Segal has published over 140 scientific papers and was a recipient of the Toronto Prize for Research in 2010. He is serving as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Computer and System Sciences. Along with his Ben-Gurion University professorship, he also is visiting professor at Cambridge University.
Ming Li is a CRC Chair Professor in Bioinformatics, of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Together with Paul Vitanyi he pioneered applications for Kolmogorov complexity.
He is also a co-founder of RSVP Technologies Inc., an artificial intelligence startup company in Waterloo.
His research interests are bioinformatics tools (protein structures, genome mapping, conducting homology searches); protein structure prediction, and automated NMR protein structure determination; stem cell image recognition; deep learning, natural language processing and automated conversation, AI.
Ming Li has published over 250 scientific papers and was a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award in 2010. He has published 4 books and he also is the Canada Research Chair from 2002 to present.
Russell Schwartz is a Professor of Biological Sciences and Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon University, where he has worked on a variety of problems in computational genetics and biophysics. He completed his B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, followed by a Ph.D. in Computer Science at MIT in 2000 pursuing work in computational biophysics under the supervision of Prof. Bonnie Berger. Following his doctoral studies, he did postdoctoral work with Prof. Jonathan King of the MIT Department of Biology before joining Celera Genomics, where he worked on some of the first whole-genome genetic variation analyses. Most recently, his laboratory's work has focused on cancer genomics, with contributions including the introduction of single-cell phylogenetics of tumor evolution and the use of deconvolution methods for tumor evolution studies on bulk genomic data. In addition to his research contributions, he has been active in international efforts at bioinformatics education reform. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and the textbook Biological Modeling and Simulation.
Title: Reconstructing tumor evolution and progression in structurally variant cancer cells
Abstract: Cancer is disease governed by the process of evolution, in which a process of accelerated genomic diversification and selection leads to the formation of tumors and a process of generally increasing aggressiveness over time. As a result, computational algorithms for reconstructing evolution have become a crucial tool for making sense of the immense complexity of tumor genomic data and the molecular mechanisms that produce them. While cancers are evolutionary systems, though, they follow very different rules than standard species evolution. A large body of research known as cancer phylogenetics has arisen to develop evolutionary tree reconstructions adapted to the peculiar mechanisms of tumor evolution and the limitations of the data sources available for studying it. Here, we will explore computational challenges in developing phylogenetic methods for reconstructing evolution of tumors by copy number variations (CNVs) and structural variations (SVs). CNVs and SVs are the primary mechanisms by which tumors functionally adapt during their evolution, but require very different models and algorithms than are used in traditional species phylogenetics. We will examine variants of this problem for handling several forms of tumor genomic data, including particular challenges of working with various bulk genomic and single-cell technologies for profiling tumor genetic variation. We will further see how the resulting models can help us develop new insight into how tumors develop and progress and how we can predict their future behavior.