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Apr - Elhanan Borenstein

Speaker: Elhanan Borenstein

Talk Title: “Systems biology, modeling, and cross-meta-omic analysis of the human microbiome”


Event Details


Thursday, April 14, 2016 6:00pm

Affiliation: Associate Professor, Dept of Genome Sciences, University of Washington

Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Washington

External Professor, Santa Fe Institute

Web-site: Elhanan Borenstein


The human microbiome represents a vastly complex ecosystem that is tightly linked to many host-related processes and that directly impact human health. To date, however, most studies have focused on characterizing the composition of the microbiome in health and in disease and on comparative analyses, and relatively little effort has been directed at studying and modeling the microbiome as an integrated biological system. In this talk, I will highlight the pressing need for the development of predictive system-level models of the microbiome, and describe several approaches to model the microbiome at the cellular, ecological, and supra-organismal levels. I will further introduce several novel computational methods for linking genomic, metagenomic, and taxonomic information and for integrating multiple meta-omic datasets, aiming to obtain a comprehensive, multi-scale, mechanistic understanding of the microbiome.


Elhanan Borenstein is an associate professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, with an adjunct position in the Department of Computer Science and engineering. He is also an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute for complexity science. Dr. Borenstein received his PhD in computer science from Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and held a joint postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Biology in Stanford and at the Santa Fe Institute. He also has extensive professional experience in the hi-tech industry, where he held top management positions in several hi-tech companies.

Dr. Borenstein integrates metagenomic data with methods inspired by systems biology, network theory, machine-learning, and statistical inference to develop a variety of computational methods for studying the human microbiome. His work focuses on reconstructing predictive, systems-level models of the human microbiome and on integrative, multi-meta-omic analysis, aiming to provide a better principled understanding of the microbiome and its role in human health.

Dr. Borenstein is the recipient of various awards including, most recently, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and the NIH New Innovator Award.

Please note:

Trainees are invited to meet with the VanBUG speaker for open discussion of both science and career paths. This takes place 4:30-5:30pm in either the Boardroom or Lunchroom on the ground floor of the BCCRC

Recommended Readings

Introductory Speaker: Thea Van Rossum (PhD Student, Dr. Fiona Brinkman’s Lab, SFU)

Title: “Don’t push the big red button: normalisation pitfalls in metagenomic analysis pipelines”

Webcast Link:

(This technology is brought to you by Compute Canada and WestGrid with support from PHSA Telehealth)