Hyo Young Choi, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, will be recognized by the International Biometric Conference during the Young Statisticians’ Showcase. During the showcase, Dr. Choi and four other researchers representing each continent of the world will have their work highlighted during a conference session. It will take place this summer in Seoul, Korea.
The International Biometric Conference brings together statistics and biostatistics researchers from all over the world to discuss industry-related trends and developments. Dr. Choi will represent North America in the showcase and receive a stipend to cover her travel expenses.
Dr. Choi’s research focuses on creating connections between modern biological data and recent advances in statistics. Specifically, her work brings together techniques from machine learning, high-dimensional data analysis, and random matrix theory for the analysis of high-throughput data. Her paper, “SCISSOR: a novel framework for identifying structural changes in RNA transcripts,” discusses a novel statistical method she developed to identify structural changes and other genetic alterations in RNA sequencing.
“I think this work can contribute to two different fields, statistics and genomics,” she said. “On the statistical side, we invented a new method for detecting outliers in a complicated high-dimensional situation, or big data, which is often challenging due to overwhelming size of data. On the genomics side, this novel methodology has great potential for broad applications including discovery of novel driver genes and mechanisms of genetic abnormalities, leading to important discoveries with potential clinical relevance. This work has already been used in a national cancer research project as one of the computational tools for identifying genetic aberrations in lung cancer patients.”
Dr. Choi works in the lab of Neil Hayes, MD, Van Vleet Endowed Professor in Medical Oncology and chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the UTHSC College of Medicine, She began working with Dr. Hayes as a PhD student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. After graduation, she moved to Memphis to continue her mentorship with Dr. Hayes at UTHSC. After she completes her fellowship, Dr. Choi plans to continue her research and hopes to contribute to new advances in the statistics field.