Speakers: Dario Ghersi, MD, PhD

Dario Ghersi, MD, PhD

Chair, Bioinformatics GPC
School of Interdisciplinary Informatics
University of Nebraska-Omaha


Dario Ghersi received an MD from the University of Genoa, Italy, in 2004 and a PhD in Computational Biology in 2010 from New York University. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University from 2010 to 2014, developing network-based and structural approaches to probe protein function and to characterize cancer mutations. He joined the University of Nebraska at Omaha as a faculty member in 2014, and currently serves as Graduate Program Chair for the Biomedical Informatics program. Dr. Ghersi’s research interests focus on developing and using computational methods for: (1) predicting the impact of somatic mutations in human cancers; (2) characterizing the T cell repertoire in antiviral and anticancer immune responses; and (3) analyzing and integrating biological datasets using AI-powered solutions.


Computational Methods for Extracting and Visualizing Information from Complex Biological Datasets

In this talk I will discuss analytical tools for working with controlled vocabularies in biology. In particular, I will introduce FunSet, a recently developed command-line tool and web server to perform Gene Ontology enrichment analysis. FunSet allows biologists to: (1) identify terms that are statistically overrepresented in a gene list with respect to a background set; (2) cluster enriched terms using a semantic similarity measure; (3) identify an optimal number of clusters; and (4) display the results using a 2D network view. The talk will also briefly highlight other uses of controlled vocabularies and will touch on some of the limitations of existing approaches.