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Bioinformatics tools & algorithms in translational cancer research

The second event of the virtual DKTK School of Oncology seminar series on translational research techniques was dedicated to bioinfomatics. Florian Buettner, the new DKTK professor for bioinformatics in oncology at the DKTK partner site Frankfurt/Mainz, Goethe University Frankfurt, was invited to share his cross-disciplinary expertise in (single cell) bioinformatics and machine learning in oncology. He aims to use computational methods to develop a better understanding of the molecular heterogeneity of cancer. Therefore, on April 19, 2021, he presented an overview on "Bioinformatics tools and algorithms for multi-omics data integration" to the young scientists at the eight DKTK sites. 

The research of Florian Buettner's group focuses on three main areas: Translational single-cell genomics, computational proteomics and multi-omics data integration, whereby probabilistic machine learning for large genomics data everywhere takes a central role. During the seminar, he focused on "multi-omics profiling" and how specialized bioinformatics tools are required to integrate heterogeneous datasets  and different scenarios to accurately identify distinct molecular states and sub-populations of cells or patients. 

To show how bioinformatics technologies can be used to generate new insights into cell identity and disease heterogeneity, he explained the proteogenomic workflow with examples. In a collaboration with Thomas Oellerich, clinician scientist and DKTK professor for translational proteomics in cancer, University Hospital of the Goethe University Frankfurt, he uses proteogenomic approaches to characterize and classify subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with clinical relevance.

In the last part of his talk, Florian Buettner introduced further tools and software such as PANOPLY, a cloud-based platform for automated and reproducible proteogenomics data analysis, and MONA, a model-based algorithm for integrative pathway analysis of multi-omics data, to answer questions like "Can we share omic levels to find meaningful biological processes?". In the closing Q&A session, the 85 attendees  asked their questions about analyzing and understanding heterogeneous biomedical datasets.

We thank Florian Buettner for the inspiring talk and the invitation to fruitful new collaborations.


Dr. Nadine Ogrissek, Wissenschaftliche Koordinatorin DKTK 

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