I first became interested in pursuing a field in biology after finishing high school. I started my bachelor studies in Germany, where I completed many mandatory computational classes in my molecular biology program. It was during this time that I acquired a sincere interest in the computational biology sector.
Although I found basic research interesting to study, I became more passionate about the translational bioinformatics field. Afterward, my primary concentration moved toward the area of computational immunology. The immune system is intriguing to study because of its complexity and the fact that every part and cell type plays its own role.
My research focuses on computational immunology, allergic diseases, biomedical informatics and publicly available data. Mainly, my work aims to apply computational approaches for the connection between immunological and clinical research. In the past several years of research, I’ve concentrated on food allergy and other atopic conditions.
While the central overarching theme of my lab’s work has been computational immunology, my team and I are also working on the reuse of patient-level clinical trial data. I have found that individual-level data from clinical studies are usually not used to their full potential.
One platform for publicly available data that I have experience with from my time as a postdoctoral scholar is the immunology database and analysis portal (ImmPort). This National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded portal is a public warehouse that grants open access to clinical and mechanistic data from immunological and clinical research. I continue to work with, and on, ImmPort along with other publicly available data.
My team and I are applying computational and statistical approaches to large immunological and clinical datasets. As such, our team should play a vital role in progressing our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of various immune-related conditions.
I have more than eight years of experience in the computational biology field and began working for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in January 2020.