Extracting rich information from biological images to tackle world health problems: Dr. Anne Carpenter, Broad Institute (IVC Seminar)

2:00 pm on Wednesday, December 4, 2013
3:00 pm on Wednesday, December 4, 2013
MCS 148
Abstract: Microscopy images contain rich information about the state of cells and organisms and are an important part of experiments to address a multitude of basic biological questions and world health problems. Our laboratory works with dozens of collaborators around the world to design and execute image-based experiments, primarily high-throughput screens. These experiments test thousands of chemical or genetic perturbations in order to identify the causes and potential cures of disease. High-throughput experiments are becoming a major source of insight in the quest to systematically identify novel drugs and regulators of important biological processes. Machine-learning approaches, guided by a biologist’s intuition, have been particularly successful for measuring subtle aspects of cells’ appearance. We are also taking a systems biology approach to explore the potential of extracting patterns of morphological perturbations (“signatures”) from cell images in order to identify the similarities between various chemical or genetic treatments. The goal of these experiments is to identify distinctions between human isoforms of cancer-relevant proteins, mechanisms of liver toxicity, and diagnostics for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Our long-term goal is to make perturbations in cell morphology as computable as other sources of large-scale functional genomics data. The algorithms and approaches we develop are freely available through the biologist-friendly open-source software, CellProfiler, for both small- and large-scale experiments. Bio: Anne Carpenter is the director of the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute. She has a strong background in cell biology, microscopy, and computational biology. Her expertise is in developing and applying methods for extracting quantitative information from biological images, especially in a high-throughput manner. Carpenter directs a team of biologists and computer scientists in developing image analysis and data exploration methods and software that are open source and freely available to the public. She and her team developed and released CellProfiler, the first open-source, high-throughput cell image analysis software. She collaborates with dozens of biomedical research groups around the world to develop and apply image analysis methods to diverse biological questions. Her team works across many of the Broad’s programs and platforms to help identify disease states, therapeutic potential, and gene function from microscopy images. Carpenter received the NSF CAREER award in 2012, and has received recognition and research funding from numerous other groups including the NIH, the Human Frontiers in Science program, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She was named Young Leader of the French-American Foundation, and elected fellow of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences. She was featured in a public television special, “Bold Visions: Women in Science & Technology,” and named a “Rising Young Investigator” by Genome Technology magazine. CellProfiler was awarded the Best Practices Award by Bio-IT World in 2009. Carpenter earned her B.S. from Purdue University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She studied with David M. Sabatini of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Polina Golland at the Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.