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Discovery lecture features computational cancer biologist Pe’er

Sep. 12, 2023, 5:06 PM

Dana Pe’er, PhD


by Leigh MacMillan

Dana Pe’er, PhD, a pioneer in using machine learning approaches to explore cell identities and interactions, will deliver the next Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Sept. 21. Her presentation, “Plasticity, gene programs and tumor progression,” begins at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall and will also be livestreamed.

Pe’er is chair of the Computational and Systems Biology Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she also serves as scientific director of the Alan and Sandra Gerry Metastasis and Tumor Ecosystems Center.

Her group uses single-cell technologies, genomic datasets and machine learning algorithms to study how cells shape their identities (cellular plasticity) and how cancer cells hijack plasticity to take on dangerous new abilities.

Pe’er is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and has received numerous awards including the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award, NIH Director’s New Innovator and Pioneer Awards, and a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.

She serves on the editorial board of the journal Cell, leads an NCI Human Tumor Atlas Network center and heads computational analysis for the Human Cell Atlas.

Her lecture is sponsored by the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. For a complete schedule of Discovery Lectures, archived video of previous lectures, and the livestream link, go to

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