CBCB Seminar Series

The CBCB Seminar Series features invited speakers from academia and industry as well as talks by faculty and graduate students in the Center. Talks by invited speakers are 40-50 minutes followed by questions. Talks by graduate students are 20 minutes followed by questions. If you are interested in speaking, please contact Brantley Hall. The CBCB Seminar Series will be held on Thursdays from 2-3pm at the Iribe Center in room 4105 unless otherwise noted.

Other seminars you may be interested in attending can be found HERE


    CBCB Seminar Series Schedule for the Fall Semester of 2023



     Institution or   Advisor/Lab 

     Topic & Abstract 

     Location  or  Zoom Only 


    Sagi Snir

    University of Haifa

    Title: Assembling the Tree of Life in Light of Conflicting Signals

    Abstract: The genomic era has reached the point where tasks that seemed imaginary only a decade ago are now within reach. One such task, that is among the most fundamentals in biology, is the inference of the evolutionary history for tens of thousands of species, sometimes of very close origin. Such a history is depicted in a tree structure and is called a phylogeny or a phylogenetic tree. In prokaryotes however, the validity of such a tree has been questioned significantly. This is primarily due to the phenomenon of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the transfer of genetic material not through lineal descent. HGT links between distantly related species, obfuscating the vertical signal of evolution. Quartets, trees over four leaves, are the minimal informational phylogenetic unit and stand at the heart of almost any phylogenetic task, in particular when conflicting signals arise. Besides, and perhaps due to their rudimentary role, quartet-based phylogenetic approaches offer combinatorially/statistically clean problems yet highly relevant to topical questions in evolution. In a series of works we have developed a graph theoretically based approach for the quartets amalgamation task. Our approach is based on a divide and conquer algorithm, where the divide step is based on solving a MaxCut in a special graph we construct. Besides providing a very fast and accurate heuristic for phylogenetics, the cleanliness of this approach has also advanced a more than thirty years open problem of quartets’ compatibility. Additionally, I will survey HGT geared quartets approaches that provide provably guarantees to popular approaches in genomics and metagenomics.

    Iribe Room 4105


    Hari Subrahmaniam Muralidharan (Pop Lab)


    Title: TBD

    Abstract: TBD.

    Iribe Room 4105


    Jason Ernst

    University of California, Los Angeles

    Title: TBD

    Abstract: TBD.

    Iribe Room 4105


    Heng Huang

    University of Maryland

    Title: TBD

    Abstract: TBD.

    Iribe Room 4105