• PLEASE WELCOME: JENNIFER WILSON, PhD, NEW QCBIO FACULTY AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT THE UCLA DEPARTMENT OF BIOENGINEERING.

    Dr. Jennifer L. Wilson is an Assistant Professor at the UCLA Department of Bioengineering. In the Computational Systems Pharmacology Lab, Dr. Wilson studies how proteins downstream of drug targets affect drug-induced phenotypes – the ability to mitigate disease or cause side effects. The lab aims to develop engineering principles for rationally designing novel drug targets by accounting for downstream protein effects. Prior to coming to UCLA, Dr. Wilson earned a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, she was an NSF Graduate Fellow with Doug Lauffenburger at M.I.T., and recently completed a CERSI fellowship in Regulatory Science (with Russ Altman) and SPARK fellowship (with Kevin Grimes) at Stanford University.

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  • PLEASE WELCOME: AMJAD ASKARY, PhD, NEW QCBIO FACULTY AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT THE UCLA DEPARTMENT OF MOLECULAR, CELL AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

    Dr. Amjad Askary is an Assistant Professor at UCLA Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology. He studies cell fate specification in the mammalian retina using technologies that he has developed for synthetic recording and in situ readout of lineage and cellular history. Amjad received his undergraduate and Master’s degree in Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering from University of Tehran in Iran and his PhD in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Southern California. Most recently, he completed his postdoctoral fellowship, working with Dr. Michael Elowitz at Caltech.

  • PLEASE WELCOME: MICHAEL WELLS, PhD, NEW QCBIO FACULTY AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN GENETICS

    Michael F. Wells, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the UCLA Department of Human Genetics. He earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 2008, and a PhD in Neurobiology from Duke University in 2015 under the guidance of Dr. Guoping Feng. In 2021, he completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Eggan at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. Michael’s research focuses on discovering the disease mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders of genetic and viral origin using human stem cell-derived neural models and cerebral organoids. His work has been published in such high-impact journals as Nature, Cell, Neuron, and Cell Stem Cell, and has been funded by a F31 Predoctoral Fellowship, a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award, and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program award.

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  • PLEASE WELCOME: Dr. BENJAMIN KNOWLES, ADJUNCT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

    Dr. Knowles is a viral ecologist whose research focuses on whether viruses choose to kill or parasitize their hosts, what drives this decision, and what its outcomes are from molecular to global scales.

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  • PLEASE WELCOME: Dr. MEHDI BOUHADDOU, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MICROBIOLOGY, IMMUNOLOGY AND MOLECULAR GENETICS (MIMG)

    Dr. Mehdi Bouhaddou performed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Nevan J. Krogan at UC San Francisco (UCSF) in virology, mass spectrometry proteomics, bioinformatics, and network modeling as a member of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG). During his postdoc, Dr. Bouhaddou received F32 (NCI) and K99 (NIAID) awards to study phosphorylation signaling and protein-protein interactions in the context of infectious disease and cancer, co-mentored by Danielle L. Swaney. He developed virus-host interaction networks for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, and systematically compared the molecular response to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants to pinpoint variant-specific mechanisms of pathogenesis. Prior to his postdoc, Dr Bouhaddou worked at Roche with Drs. Li Yu and Antje-Christine Walz to develop pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) mathematical models of epigenetic modifier drugs in cancer. He received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences advised by Dr. Marc Birtwistle at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where he developed ordinary differential equation (ODE) models of cancer signaling to predict personalized therapeutic strategies tailored to specific cancer mutational contexts. Lastly, Dr. Bouhaddou received his Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in Cognitive Neuroscience.
    The Bouhaddou lab will officially open in the QCBio space in February 2023!

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  • RESEARCH, TRAINING, & EDUCATION

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The Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences is a partnership between the UCLA College, the Health Sciences, and Engineering.  Its associated faculty span more than twelve departments, and a broad range of biological and biomedical research areas – yet, the hallmark of QCBio faculty and their laboratories is the commitment to quantitative reasoning and the development of algorithmic and computational methods.

QCBio’s mission is to support quantitative and computational biosciences research, training, and education. As new measurement capabilities and public data bases are rendering the biosciences – whether basic, translational or clinical – increasingly data-rich, the challenges and opportunities for data analysis and interpretation are a hallmark of all aspects of biosciences research. Further, vast quantities of knowledge – the result of prior research investments – should be harnessed for computer-aided data interpretation and prospective prediction. Thus QCBio addresses the opportunities and challenges of data-driven and knowledge-based computational modeling in the biosciences.

QCBio fosters research into the development of algorithms, software, statistical, mechanistic, and dynamical models, as well as intra-institutional and international collaborations. QCBio provides research training and expert collaborative support via the Collaboratory. QCBio functions as the academic home and sponsor of the inter-departmental programs in Bioinformatics, Biomedical Informatics, and Computational and Systems Biology, at the graduate and undergraduate level. QCBio organizes a major summer undergraduate research program, Bruins in Genomics, that provides substantive graduate school preparation.