Networks for Big Biomedical Data

Assistant Professor Genevera Allen

 Sponsored by the University of Sydney’s School of Mathematics and Statistics

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Time: 6.30pm (local time)
Venue: Eastern Avenue Auditorium, The University of Sydney
Register: FREE via University of Sydney Event Website


Cancer and neurological diseases are among the top 5 causes of death in Australia.  There is some good news in this battle against disease, however, as new Big Data technologies now allow scientists to measure nearly every aspect of a cancerous tumor and take real-time scans of the active human brain.  This Big Data may hold the key to understanding causes and possible cures for cancer as well as understanding the complexities of the human brain.  

Join us on a voyage of discovery as we highlight how data science is transforming medical research.  Specifically, we show how networks can be used to visualize and mine big biomedical data, from genetic networks that have led to the discovery of new drug targets for cancer to brain networks that show how the brain communicates and how these communications are disrupted in neurological diseases.  Using real case studies we will demonstrate how cutting-edge data science is bringing us closer than ever before to major medical breakthroughs.

Public Lecture: Genevera Allen


Assistant Professor Genevera Allen, Department of Statistics, Rice University

Genevera Allen is the Dobelman Family Junior Chair and an Assistant Professor of Statistics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. She is also a member of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine where she holds a joint appointment. Dr. Allen received her PhD in statistics from Stanford University in 2010, under the mentorship of Prof. Robert Tibshirani, and her bachelors, also in statistics, from Rice University in 2006.

Dr. Allen’s research focuses on developing statistical methods to help scientists make sense of their ‘Big Data’ in applications such as high-throughput genomics and neuroimaging. Her work lies in the areas of modern multivariate analysis, graphical models, statistical machine learning, and data integration or data fusion. The recipient of several honors including a National Science Foundation CAREER award and the International Biometric Society’s Young Statistician Showcase award, she also represented the American Statistical Association (ASA) at the Coalition for National Science Funding on Capitol Hill in 2013 and 2014, and has had her research highlighted on the House floor in a speech by Congressman McNerney (D-CA).

In 2014, Dr. Allen was named to the “Forbes ’30 under 30′: Science and Healthcare” list. She is also the recipient of research grant awards from the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and joint initiatives between NSF and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Allen currently serves as an Associated Editor for Biometrics, the Secretary / Treasurer for the ASA Section on Statistical Computing, and the Program Chair for the ASA Section on Statistical Learning and Data Science.

Outside of work, Dr. Allen is a patron of the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera, and is involved with several arts organizations throughout Houston. She also enjoys traveling, Texas craft beers, and playing the viola.

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