March 9, 2020

Congratulations to Bioinformatics recipients of the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship!

Congratulations to both Louis Joslyn and Edison Ong, Ph.D. candidates and recipients of the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship!

The research of Louis Joslyn, mentored by Denise Kirschner and Jennifer Linderman, is aimed to improve tuberculosis vaccinations. His dissertation work is designed to characterize T-cell response across and within various organs during infection, vaccination, or both by integrating preclinical and clinical trial data together with computational modeling. He then refines and develops a set of computational models to evaluate questions and isolate mechanisms surrounding T-cell timing, and quantify T-cell responses following vaccination/infection across cellular, tissue, and whole-host scales. 

Edison Ong, mentored by Oliver He, also focuses on vaccination issues. His work concentrates on addressing vaccination challenges by developing (i) an ontology-based vaccine data representation, integration and analysis of vaccine protection mechanisms, (ii) a novel machine learning-based reverse vaccinology method for rational vaccine design, and (iii) a new structural vaccinology design program to optimize vaccine candidates for enhanced vaccine protection. The results and tools from this work are expected to greatly advance the understanding of vaccine mechanisms and the capability of developing effective vaccines efficiently against infectious diseases of public health significance. 

The Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship provides financial support for a small number of PhD candidates in their final year whose work their reviewers deemed “unusually creative, ambitious, and impactful.” The Bioinformatics Program is grateful for both the support and recognition of its high caliber student research from Rackham Graduate School.