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Patrick Schloss

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The Schloss lab is broadly interested in beneficial and pathogenic host-microbiome interactions with the goal of improving our understanding of how the microbiome can be used to reach translational outcomes in the prevention, detection, and treatment of colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, and Clostridium difficile infection. To address these questions, we test traditional ecological theory in the microbial context using a systems biology approach. Specifically, the laboratory specializes in using studies involving human subjects and animal models to understand how biological diversity affects community function using a variety of culture-independent genomics techniques including sequencing 16S rRNA gene fragments, metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics. In addition, they use metabolomics to understand the functional role of the gut microbiota in states of health and disease. To support these efforts, they develop and apply bioinformatic tools to facilitate their analysis. Most notable is the development of the mothur software package (https://www.mothur.org), which is one of the most widely used tools for analyzing microbiome data and has been cited more than 7,300 times since it was initially published in 2009. The Schloss lab deftly merges the ability to collect data to answer important biological questions using cutting edge wet-lab techniques and computational tools to synthesize these data to answer their biological questions.

Given the explosion in microbiome research over the past 15 years, the Schloss lab has also stood at the center of a major effort to train interdisciplinary scientists in applying computational tools to study complex biological systems. These efforts have centered around developing reproducible research skills and applying modern data visualization techniques. An outgrowth of these efforts at the University of Michigan has been the institutionalization of The Carpentries organization on campus (https://carpentries.org), which specializes in peer-to-peer instruction of programming tools and techniques to foster better reproducibility and build a community of practitioners.

The Schloss lab uses computational tools to integrate multi-omics tools in a culture-independent approach to understand how bacteria interact with each other and their host to drive processes such as colorectal cancer and susceptibility to Clostridium difficile infections.

Timothy McKay

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I am a data scientist, with extensive and various experience drawing inference from large data sets. In education research, I work to understand and improve postsecondary student outcomes using the rich, extensive, and complex digital data produced in the course of educating students in the 21st century. In 2011, we launched the E2Coach computer tailored support system, and in 2014, we began the REBUILD project, a college-wide effort to increase the use of evidence-based methods in introductory STEM courses. In 2015, we launched the Digital Innovation Greenhouse, an education technology accelerator within the UM Office of Digital Education and Innovation. In astrophysics, my main research tools have been the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Dark Energy Survey, and the simulations which support them both. We use these tools to probe the growth and nature of cosmic structure as well as the expansion history of the Universe, especially through studies of galaxy clusters. I have also studied astrophysical transients as part of the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment.

This image, drawn from a network analysis of 127,653,500 connections among 57,752 students, shows the relative degrees of connection for students in the 19 schools and colleges which constitute the University of Michigan. It provides a 30,000 foot overview of the connection and isolation of various groups of students at Michigan. (Drawn from the senior thesis work of UM Computer Science major Kar Epker)

This image, drawn from a network analysis of 127,653,500 connections among 57,752 students, shows the relative degrees of connection for students in the 19 schools and colleges which constitute the University of Michigan. It provides a 30,000 foot overview of the connection and isolation of various groups of students at Michigan. (Drawn from the senior thesis work of UM Computer Science major Kar Epker)

Mahesh Agarwal

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Prof. Agarwal’s is primarily interested in number theory, in particular in p-adic L-functions, Bloch-Kato conjecture and automorphic forms. His secondary research interests are polynomials, geometry and math education, Machine Learning, and healthcare analytics.

Ivo D. Dinov

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Dr. Ivo Dinov directs the Statistics Online Computational Resource (SOCR), co-directs the multi-institutional Probability Distributome Project, and is an associate director for education of the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS).

Dr. Dinov is an expert in mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, computational processing and visualization of Big Data. He is involved in longitudinal morphometric studies of human development (e.g., Autism, Schizophrenia), maturation (e.g., depression, pain) and aging (e.g., Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases). Dr. Dinov is developing, validating and disseminating novel technology-enhanced pedagogical approaches for scientific education and active learning.

Analyzing Big observational data including thousands of Parkinson's disease patients based on tens-of-thousands signature biomarkers derived from multi-source imaging, genetics, clinical, physiologic, phenomics and demographic data elements is challenging. We are developing Big Data representation strategies, implementing efficient algorithms and introducing software tools for managing, analyzing, modeling and visualizing large, complex, incongruent and heterogeneous data. Such service-oriented platforms and methodological advances enable Big Data Discovery Science and present existing opportunities for learners, educators, researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

Analyzing Big observational data including thousands of Parkinson’s disease patients based on tens-of-thousands signature biomarkers derived from multi-source imaging, genetics, clinical, physiologic, phenomics and demographic data elements is challenging. We are developing Big Data representation strategies, implementing efficient algorithms and introducing software tools for managing, analyzing, modeling and visualizing large, complex, incongruent and heterogeneous data. Such service-oriented platforms and methodological advances enable Big Data Discovery Science and present existing opportunities for learners, educators, researchers, practitioners and policy makers.