Making sense out of the wealth of information provided by genomic science.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


February 12, 2008 from 7:30 am to 9:30 am America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)


$20 FACC Members / $25 Non-members / $30 at the door

Together with the French-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, swissnex is pleased to bring you another informative event in our ongoing series, “Life Science Breakfasts”.

The deluge of genomic information has led to an urgent need for computerized databases to manage and process this large amount of data. This information must be combined so that researchers can study how the diseases alter normal cellular activities. As a result, the field of bioinformatics has evolved in order to analyze and construe of all this data. How do firms and labs cope with this task and benefit from this opportunity?


7:30 am breakfast and networking
8:00 am program starts
8:00 am speakers: Dennis Ballinger, Vice President in bioinformatics, Perlegen; Professor Yuriy Fofanov, Director of the bioinformatics lab, University of Houston; Daniel Pick, CEO, Pick Data Mining;  moderator: Doctor Heather Koshinsky, CEO, President and co-founder, Investigen, Inc.


Dennis Ballinger, Vice President in BioInformatics, Perlegen

Dr. Ballinger joined Perlegen in 2002. Prior to joining Perlegen, he was an Assistant Professor at the Sloan-Kettering Institute, Director of Cardiovascular Disease Research at Myriad Genetics, and Director of Software Product Development at Ingenuity Systems. Dr. Ballinger obtained a B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prior to completing his postdoctoral training at Caltech. He has more than twenty years of research experience in both academic and industrial settings, with over thirty peer-reviewed publications covering topics in model organism genetics, biology and biochemistry, human genetics and functional genomics.

Professor Yuriy Fofanov, Director of the Bioinformatics Lab, University of Houston

Dr. Yuriy Fofanov is Associate Professor of Computer Science, Biology and Biochemistry, and director of the University of Houston Bioinformatics lab. Since 2001 his lab conducting research in the area of Analysis of statistical properties of short subsequences (n-mers) in microbial genomes and their link to pathogen evolution and identification. During the last seven years Dr. Fofanov’s lab has developed several highly efficient algorithms and software applications for the analysis of genomic sequences in addition to creating and maintaining significant data collections of more than 100,000 complete genome sequences. The primary focus has been to develop new pathogen detection technologies and increase general understandings of virulence and dynamic of the host-pathogen interaction. Dr. Fofanov’s research is supported by various federal (NIH, DHS, W. M. Keck foundation) and local (Texas Learning and Computational Center) sources (total awards amount – $3.5M+ during last six years).

Daniel PickCEO, Pick Data Mining

Daniel is a professional technical consultant and scientific software developer. His current field of interest is in bioinformatics, particularly microarray data analysis. He is an expert in statistical data analysis techniques, including parametric and nonparametric hypothesis tests, linear and nonlinear curve fitting, analysis of variance, principal components analysis, and clustering methods.
He also work in solving nonlinear mathematical problems by applying optimization techniques, such as differential evolution, simulated annealing, and genetic algorithms.
Moreover Daniel has consulted on software projects for the following clients:
• Scitegic/Accelrys, Pipeline Pilot gene expression collection
• Biogen-Idec, microarray data analysis with Bioconductor and R
• Active Sight, protein-ligand complex geometry refinement
• Adaptive Therapeutics, peptide nanotube recombination
• Syrrx, virtual ligand screeniing and cheminformatics applications
• Chevron Oil, quasi-Monte Carlo simulations
• Hughes Aircraft, genetic programming and simulated annealing
• Naval Health Research Center, symptom aggregation

Doctor Heather KoshinskyCEO, President and co-founder, Investigen, Inc.

Dr. Koshinsky is a microbial geneticist leading the development of rapid molecular detection methods suitable for clinical, industrial and agricultural diagnostic applications. Dr. Koshinsky is the co-founder and CEO of Investigen, a molecular diagnostics company. Prior to founding Investigen, Inc., she supervised microbiological/molecular biological research projects involving yeast and bacterial genetics and food safety at the USDA/University of California, Berkeley, Plant Gene Expression Center and as an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Dr. Koshinsky obtained a B.Sc. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Applied Microbiology from University of Saskatchewan, and a Certificate of Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley Extension.