Shannon McWeeney, Ph.D.
Professor and Head, Division of Bioinformatics & Computational BiologyOregon Health & Science University
Dr. McWeeney is a statistical geneticist working at the intersection of computer science, biostatistics and genetics to develop approaches to solve research bottlenecks and novel ways to visualize and interpret information. In her work, her strengths have been in being able to “think outside the box” and her ability to rapidly synthesize information from diverse fields which has allowed her to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and target key areas early. An illustration of this is her substantial contributions with regard to genome-wide approaches for transcriptional regulation and chromatin occupancy. She was at the forefront of this area and a key part of the original team that developed the first scalable sequence based approach, providing the computational workflows and methodology necessary for the approach to succeed. That work served as a springboard for a large number of other studies, leading to a tremendous increase in our understanding of transcriptional regulatory networks and signaling and serving as the precursor for Next Generation approaches. Her work on novel computational methods and frameworks for prioritization is one of her most significant contributions to science. While these methods are designed for precision medicine, they have wide applicability for target identification and therapeutic prioritization for many complex traits. In 2010, she was selected as a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the US National Academy of Sciences for her contributions.