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Biomedical Informatics

Emily Flynn

I am a fifth-year PhD Candidate in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford University in Dr. Russ Altman’s lab. My work leverages data analysis methods to understand variability in gene expression and genome-wide association study (GWAS) data related to drug response, sex, and hormonal status. I have developed methods for (1) examining the contributions of sex to genetic variability, which I applied to identify sex-specific variants associated with testosterone levels, and (2) robust sex labeling of heterogeneous microarray data, which I used to assess the sex breakdown of publicly available drug exposure expression studies. In addition, I am running a study on menstrual cycle variability in peripheral blood, with funding from a Stanford Women's Health and Sex Differences in Medicine seed grant. My graduate research has been supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral award.

I received my B.A. from Smith College, where I double majored in Computer Science and Biochemistry and concentrated in Biomathematical Sciences. I started Smith thinking I would be a biologist, but quickly fell in love with programming after taking my first CS course, and switched to work in Dr. Ileana Streinu’s Computational Biology lab, where I did my honors thesis on visualization and comparison of protein rigidity models.

Outside of research, I am also passionate about teaching and mentoring. I was a technical mentor for the inaugural Stanford Data Science for Social Good summer program, where I enjoyed developing and teaching short data science modules and helping students on their projects. I also have been a teaching assistant and worked on course development for the Stanford Biomedical Informatics Course Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking, hanging out with my cat, and exploring the Bay Area.

Datazine 2020 Profile