NERIC 2017 Speakers

Cathy H. Wu, PhD

Cathy H. Wu, PhD

Research Interests

Systems integration is becoming the driving force for the 21st century biology. Researchers are systematically tackling gene functions and complex regulatory processes by studying organisms at different levels of organization, from genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes to metabolomes and interactomes. To fully realize the value of such high-throughput data requires advanced bioinformatics for integration, mining, comparative analysis, and functional interpretation. My group conducts bioinformatics and computational biology research and has developed a bioinformatics resource at the Protein Information Resource with integrated databases and analytical tools to support genomics, proteomics and systems biology research [Wu et al., 2003]. PIR is a member of the UniProt Consortium to provide the central international resource on protein sequence and function [Wu et al., 2006]. The PIR web site and the UniProt web site at PIR are accessible by researchers worldwide with over 4 million hits per month from over 100,000 unique sites.

Our research encompasses protein evolution-structure-function relationships, biological text mining, protein ontology, proteomic bioinformatics, computational systems biology, and bioinformatics cyberinfrastructure. The protein-centric bioinformatics framework we are developing connects data mining, text mining and ontology for functional analysis of genes and proteins in the systems biology context. The integrative approach reveals hidden relationships among the various components of the biological systems, allows researchers to ask complex biological questions and gain better understanding of disease processes, and facilitates target discovery. We will further establish a new Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at University of Delaware to foster collaborative interdisciplinary research and to offer graduate degree programs in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology to train the next generation of researchers and educators.

Current Projects

  • Protein family classification, functional annotation, and structure-function analysis – As a central approach to protein annotation for the UniProt Knowledgebase, we employ a classification-driven rule-based method. The PIRSF system classifies proteins from superfamily to subfamily levels to reflect evolutionary relationship of proteins and their domain architecture, allowing comparative studies of protein function and evolution [Wu et al., 2004; Nikolskaya et al., 2006]. Coupling with manually curated, structure-guided rules, the system supports the standardization and accurate annotation of protein names, functions, and functional sites [Wu et al., 2006]. The systematic approach provides high-quality functional annotation, while keeping pace with the exponential growth of molecular sequence data.
  • Biological text mining – With an ever-increasing volume of scientific literature now available electronically, we have been collaborating with several Natural Language Processing research groups to develop algorithms for text mining and information extraction [Hirschman et al., 2002]. Several projects have led to tools directly accessible from the iProLINK text mining resource [Hu et al., 2004], including the BioThesaurus of gene/protein names that allows the identification of synonymous and ambiguous names [Liu et al., 2006] and the RLIMS-P text mining system to extract phosphorylation information (kinase, protein substrate, and phosphorylation sites) from Medline abstracts [Hu et al., 2005]. We plan to develop a “configurable, intelligent and integrated” text mining system as the link bridging PubMed and databases for knowledge discovery. We co-organize the BioCreative Challenge Evaluations, bringing together both the text mining and biological research communities to evaluate and guide the future development of text mining systems.
  • Biomedical ontology – As biomedical ontologies emerged as critical tools in biological research for semantic integration of complex data in disparate resources, we have developed a Protein Ontology (PRO) in the OBO (Open Biomedical Ontologies) Foundry framework [Natale et al., 2007]. Extending from the evolutionary relationships of protein classes to the representation of multiple protein forms of genes (e.g., isoforms, post-translational modifications), PRO allows precise definition of protein objects in biological context (e.g., pathways, networks, complexes) and specification of relationships with other ontologies (such as Gene Ontology) [Arighi et al., 2009]. The project aims to capture knowledge representation of protein biology embedded in the scientific literature to facilitate pathway, network and disease modeling.
  • Omics data integration and pathway/network analysis – Designed for data integration in a distributed environment, the iProClass database provides rich protein annotation with data from over 100 molecular databases [Wu et al., 2004]. It is also the underlying data warehouse for gene/protein ID and name mapping. Built upon iProClass and UniProt, we have developed the iProXpress system for functional profiling and pathway analysis of large-scale gene expression and proteomic data [Huang et al., 2007]. iProXpress has been applied to several studies, including proteomic profiling of melanosomes and lysosome-related organelle proteomes, identification of signaling pathways and networks underlying estrogen-induced apoptosis of breast cancer cells, and analysis of cellular pathways in radiation-resistant cells [Chi et al., 2006; Hu et al., 2007; 2008]. As part of the NIAID biodefense proteomics program, we have integrated various omics data on pathogens and their hosts, allowing biologists to query and analyze data from multiple disparate proteomic centers about pathogen-host relationships. We have conducted integrative bioinformatics analysis of protein structure, function and evolution to identify potential targets for hemorrhagic viruses [Mazumder et al., 2007]. We plan to further develop network mining, visualization and prediction methods, and coupling with the integrative bioinformatics approach, to facilitate data-driven hypothesis generation.

Agenda

Wednesday, August 16th

2:00 - 9:00 PM Registration Desk Hours of Operation
(Diamond Foyer)
5:00 - 6:00 PM Reception and Poster Session I Setup
(Promenade)
6:00 - 6:15 PM Welcoming Remarks
(Emerald I-III Ballrooms)

6:15 - 7:30 PM Plated Dinner
(Emerald I-III Ballrooms)
7:30 - 9:00 PM Poster Session I (Undergraduate students and Cores)
(Promenade)

Thursday, August 17th

7:00 AM - 5:30 PM Registration Desk Hours of Operation
(Diamond Foyer)
7:00 - 8:15 AM Breakfast, Career Tables for interested students (Exhibition Hall), Poster Session II Set-up
(Promenade)

  • Tim Hunter, MS, Biotek and Yolanda Nesbeth PhD, Celdara Medical
    "Biotech Career"
  • Corine Farewell, DVM, MBA UVM Innovations
    "Technology Transfer"
  • Charles Irvin, PhD, UVM College of Medicine, Director, Vermont Lung Center, and Ralph Budd, MD, UVM College of Medicine, Director, Vermont Center for Immunology & Infectious Diseases
    "Academic Career"
  • Yanping Liu, MD, PhD, NIH, NIGMS
    "Scientific Careers in Government"
  • Daniel Kolker, PhD, United States Patent and Trademark Office
    “Patent Assessment”
  • Karen Spach, PhD, Senior Medical Writer, Envision Pharma Group
    "Scientific Careers in Government"
8:30 - 9:45 AM Opening Remarks
(Emerald I-III Ballrooms)

NIGMS staff:

  • Yanping Liu, MD, PhD Program Director, NIGMS
    “Overview of Programs in the Center for Research Capacity Building”
  • Arina Kramer, Grants Specialist at the Center for Research Capacity Building, NIGMS
    “IDeA Post Award Management”
9:45 - 10:00 AM Break and Refreshments
(Promenade)
10:00 - 12:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Core Presentations of Resources Available to NERIC Investigators
    (Emerald III Ballroom) Chair, Ralph Budd, MD, University Distinguished Professor of Medicine, The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

    • Eric Kmiec, PhD, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, Newark, DE
      "CRISPR-based Gene Editing in Biomedical Research"
    • Youngwook Ahn, PhD, Brown University Transgenics and Gene-Targeting Facility
      “CRISPR/Cas9 Mouse Preparation”
    • Bongsup Cho, PhD, Coordinator INBRE and Professor, The University of Rhode Island
      "Expanding Bioinformatic Core: 3D Printing of Molecules and Viruses!”
    • Nagib Ahsan, PhD, Brown University
      "Proteomics Core Facility"
    • Calvin Vary, PhD, Maine Medical Research Institute
      "Lipidomics"
    • Dwight Matthews, PhD, University of Vermont
      "Metabolomics and 13C-labeling"
  2. Entrepreneurship Workshop: "How to Turn Your Innovative Ideas Into Reality"
    (Emerald II Ballroom)

    • Mercedes Rincón, PhD,   University of Vermont
      "Welcome to the I-Trep program for IDeA states"
    • Keynote speaker, Mathew Portnoy, PhD, Overall HHS SBIR/STTR Program Manager, NIH Program Manager, NIH Office of Extramural Programs
    • Pitch presentations
      • Voot Yin, PhD, MDI Biological Laboratory
      • Qian Chen, PhD, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital
    • Round tables (20 minutes each, choose three)
      • Daniel Kolker, PhD, Supervisory Patent Officer, USPTO, and MaryDilys Anderson, PhD, Esq, Finch & Maloney PLLC)
        “Assessing your Invention and Intellectual Property”
      • Samantha Roach-Gerber, VCET, and Erik Monsen, PhD, University of Vermont
        “How To Pitch-How to Sell Your Idea”
      • Cairn Cross, Fresh Tracks Venture
        “Funding Through VC, Angels”
      • Mathew Portnoy, PhD, NIH SBIR Program, and Yolanda Nesbeth, PhD, Celdara Medical
        “Funding Through SBIR/STTR”
      • Sarah O'Connell Kalil, COO, Boston Microfluidics, and Tanya Kanigan, PhD, COO, Genomic Expression Inc.
        “Setting Up Your Startup”
      • Tina Thornton, PhD, University of Vermont
        “I-Trep Program Opportunities”
  3. INBRE Program (Emerald I Ballroom)
    • 10:00 - 11:00 AM - Sharon O'Connor, MS, MBA, Internal Evaluation Manager, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire INBRE
      "INBRE Program Evaluation"
    • 11:00 - 12:00 PM - Elizabeth Ambos, PhD, Executive Officer, Council on Undergraduate Research
      "PM Council on Undergraduate Research Presentation"
10:30 - 11:30 AM COBRE/INBRE Business Grant Managers Meeting with Arina Kramer, Grants Specialist at the Center for Research Capacity Building, NIGMS (Carlton Boardroom)
12:00 - 1:30 PM U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (Exhibition Hall)

Lunch and Networking
(Exhibition Hall)
VGN Baccalaureate Partner Institution Meeting
(Carlton Boardroom)
1:30 - 3:30 PM

Concurrent Scientific Sessions
Development/Genetics (Emerald I Ballroom) Chair, Bruce Stanton, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth

  • Featured Speaker: Vicki Losick, PhD, MDI Biological Laboratory
    “Wound Healing the Fruit Fly Way”
  • Featured Speaker: Jodi Camberg, PhD, University of Rhode Island
    "Remodeling protein architectures leads to big changes in cell physiology"
  • Santina Snow, MDI Biological Laboratory
    “The Role of Specific Tissues in Coordinating Changes in Organismal Growth, Longevity and Resilience to Stress in Response to Reduced mRNA Translation in C. Elegans”
  • Aaron Brown, PhD, Maine Medical Center Research Institute
    “A Novel Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Model of Beige Adipogenesis for Development of Anti-Obesity Therapies”
  • Larissa Williams, PhD, Bates College
    “The Transcription Factor, Nuclear Factor, Erythroid 2 (Nfe2), is a Regulator of the Oxidative Stress Response During Danio Rerio Development”
  • Michaela Reagan, PhD, Tufts University
    “3D Tissue Engineered Design of Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue to Investigate the Influence of Myeloma on Adipocytes and Adipogenesis

Cancer (Emerald III Ballroom) Chair, Mercedes Rincon, PhD, Professor of Medicine, The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

  • Featured Speaker: Patrycja Dubielecka, PhD, Brown University
    “Beyond JAK/STAT: Signaling Pathways Contributing to the Pathogenesis of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms”
  • Sonali Barwe, PhD, Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children
    “Disseminated Patient-Derived Xenograft Models for Preclinical Testing of New Drugs for Pediatric Leukemia”
  • Mark Perfetto, University of Delaware
    “ADAM9 Cleaves EphrinB1 to Regulate Canonical Wnt Signaling and Colorectal Cancer Cell Migration”
  • Con Sullivan, PhD, University of Maine
    "A Role for the Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha-Induced Protein 8-like 1 Gene in Cancer and Inflammation"
  • Sigrid Langhans, PhD, Nemours/Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children
    “Beta-Hairpin Peptide Hydrogels as Scaffolds for 3D High-Throughput Screening in Drug Discovery”
  • Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont
    “Characteristics of Young Adult Cigarette Smokers in the U.S.: Findings from the 1st Wave of the PATH Study, 2013-2014”

Infectious Diseases and Immunology (Emerald II Ballroom) Chair, William Green, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth

  • Featured Speaker: William Landesman, PhD, Green Mountain College
    “Drivers of Variation in theIxodes Scapularis Microbiome”
  • Jason Shapiro, MD, Alpert Medical School, Brown University
    “Immunoglobulin-A Coated Bacteria Represent a Unique Subset of the Microbiome in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease”
  • Md Mahmudul Hasan, University of Vermont
    “Motility of E. Histolytica Through Host Extracellular Matrix: Involvement of Invadosome-like Actin Structures”
  • Rajiv Jumani, University of Vermont
    “Identification and Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Modeling of a Piperazine-Based Drug Lead for Cryptosporidiosis”
  • Hacene Boukari, PhD, Delaware State University
    “Tracking HIV Viruses in Human Cervical Mucus”
  • Victoria DeVault, University of Vermont
    “Natural Genetic Variation within a 0.1Mbp Genetic Interval on Chromosome 1 Regulates NKT Cell Development and Function”
3:30 - 3:45 PM Break and Refreshments
(Promenade)
3:45 - 4:45 PM Keynote Lecture I
(Emerald III Ballroom)

  • Jason McLellan, PhD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
    “Developing New Therapeutic Interventions to RSV Infection by Inhibiting the Metamorphosis of the RSV Fusion Glycoprotein”
4:45 - 6:00 PM Poster Session II (Graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows)
(Promenade)
5:30 - 6:30 PM NIH COBRE and INBRE PI Meeting
(Universal Amphitheater)
6:00 PM Dinner on your own in Burlington

Friday, August 18th

8:00 - 9:00 AM Breakfast
(Exhibition Hall)
9:00 - 10:00 AM

Cool ideas from IDeA programs (Emerald III Ballroom) Chair, Charles Irvin, PhD, Professor of Medicine, The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

  • Bruce Stanton, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth
    “Leveraging COBRE Resources with Philanthropy”
  • Marie Stuart, MD, PI of SCD COBRE Program, Director of Hematology Research A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children
    “Single Disease Centered COBREs…A Novel Approach”
  • W. Kelley Thomas, PhD, Professor, Dept. Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, University of New Hampshire
    “Early Undergraduate Experiences in Bioinformatics”
10:00 - 12:00 PM

Concurrent Scientific Sessions

Neuroscience (Emerald I Ballroom) Chair, Melissa A. Harrington, PhD, Associate VP for Research, Delaware State University

  • Matthew E. R. Butchbach, PhD, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
    "Characterization of Small Molecule Neuroprotectants for Spinal Muscular Atrophy”
  • Featured Speaker: Andrew Kennedy, PhD, Bates College
    "Targeting the Tet Enzymes to Enhance Cognition"
  • Neal Mecum, University of New England
    “Lacrimal Gland Excision in Male and Female C57BL/6 Mice Causes Pain- and Anxiety-like Behavior”
  • Michael Dash, PhD, Middlebury College
    “Synaptic Depotentiation Reduces Sleep Need”
  • Leslie Johnson, PhD, Johnson State College
    “More than Just ‘Baby Weight’: Perceived Postpartum Weight Bias and Well-Being in First-Time Mothers”


Infectious Diseases and Immunology II (Emerald III Ballroom) Chair, Ralph Budd, MD, University Distinguished Professor, Medicine, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

  • Michael Secinaro, University of Vermont
    “Glycolysis Primes Effector T Cells for Death Through the Induction of Caspase-3 Activity”
  • Melissa Maginnis, PhD, University of Maine
    “Characterization of Cellular Factors Required for JC Polyomavirus Invasion of Host Cells”
  • Abbas Raza, University of Vermont
    “Sex-Specific Regulation of CNS Autoimmunity by the Signal Lymphocytic Activation Molecule (Slam) Locus”
  • Danielle Dube, PhD, Bowdoin College
    “Discovery of Genes Required for Glycoprotein Biosynthesis in the Gastric Pathogen Helicobacter Pylori”
  • Scott Rusin, Dartmouth College
    “Identification of Candidate CK2 Substrates in Mitosis by Quantitative Phosphoproteomics”

Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Complex Systems (Emerald II Ballroom) Chair, Cathy Wu, PhD, Edward G. Jefferson Chair of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, University of Delaware

  • Featured Speaker: Benjamin King, PhD, University of Maine

    "microRNA co-expression network dynamics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in the zebrafish, Danio rerio"
  • Featured Speakers: Dr. Malcolm D’Souza and Dr. Derald Wentzien from Delaware INBRE Wesley College
    “Undergraduate Data Science Research Projects Form an Integral Component of the Wesley College Science and Mathematics Curriculum”
  • Shawn Polson, PhD, University of Delaware
    “Markers to Metagenomes and Back Again: Bioinformatics advances toward understanding microbial viruses”
  • Edward Lyman, PhD, University of Delaware
    “Computational Approaches to GPCR Drug Discovery: The Membrane as a Therapeutic Target”
  • Cathy Wu, PhD, University of Delaware
    “Big Data to Knowledge: Integrative Literature Mining and Panomics Analysis for Kinase Cancer Drug Analytics”
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and Networking
Box lunches
(G's Restaurant)
1:00 PM Conference Concludes