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Corbin Jones presented, “Crosstalk: Using biology to inspire new analytic approaches to biological data,” which featured a collection of projects that he and members of his department are working on that leverage and analogize the methods used in disparate fields of biology to analyze emerging datasets. He discussed examples of how biology can inspire artificial intelligence, such as neural networks that are designed around observed patterns of neurons after organisms gain new knowledge, genetic algorithms that are used to describe the process of evolution over time, and Turing patterns found in nature that can be easily repeated in algorithms to predict future events in an environment. Jones shared a project on free circulating tumor DNA, which utilizes evolutionary load theory to analyze datasets of tumor cell DNA and the frequency of mutations that are collected before and after the treatment of chemotherapy patients. Additionally, Jones spoke on a new endeavor revolving around spatial transcriptomics, which utilizes tools used in spatial ecology to track and analyze interdependence, patterns, hidden structures, and breaks within spatial gene expression measurements for complex organs and tissues. Jones concluded his lightning talk by thanking his collaborators and speaking on the importance of campus “bridge groups” that can help those interested in data science research and scholarship across disciplines.

Click here to view the talk on YouTube.


Corbin Jones, Professor

Department: Department of Biology & Genetics | Faculty Profile

Featured on: January 26, 2022 (Event Page)

Session Title: Series Kickoff: The Usual and Unusual Suspects (Event Recap

Tools, Information, and Resources:

  • Bioinformatics and Analytics Research Collaborative (BARC): The Bioinformatics and Analytics Research Collaborative (BARC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a multidisciplinary center that aims to provide bioinformatics expertise and analysis to researchers across the university and beyond for high throughput data. They analyze, visualize, interpret, and manage big data while also offering custom solutions to fit our researchers’ needs. Additionally, the center strives to educate researchers on current tools and techniques, foster a collaborative environment by hosting workshops, working groups, and seminars, and improve existing tools and/or invent new tools and algorithms.
  • Program for Precision Medicine in Health Care: The mission of the UNC Program for Precision Medicine in Health Care (PPMH) is to foster advancements in evidence-based precision medicine approaches to screening, prevention, diagnosis, and health management for North Carolinians in the UNC Health System and beyond. They are developing a program of clinical, research, and educational initiatives that will create a unique vision and roadmap for precision medicine within the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Health System.