Washington People: Li Ding

Li Ding works in her lab
Li Ding (right), of the School of Medicine, works with Steven Foltz, a graduate student in her lab. Ding develops computational tools to study the genetics of cancer. To support and inform her methods for big data analysis, she also uses traditional lab techniques to further understand tumor biology, seeking new therapies for cancer patients. (Photo: Robert Boston/School of Medicine)

Li Ding is something of a cryptographer. Or perhaps reverse cryptographer is more accurate. Rather than writing code to conceal meaning, she works to decipher nature’s secret language.

Ding and her colleagues design new ways to translate the letters of the DNA sequence that make up the human genome into information doctors can use to treat patients, especially those diagnosed with cancer. But before she embarked on a career in computational biology — using bits and bytes to guide drug discovery — she had to get past that first frog dissection.

Read the full profile on the School of Medicine site. 

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