Irene Ong, PhD

Irene Ong, PhD

Director, Biostats and BioInformatics Core

Professor Ong’s research interests lie in the development and use of bioinformatics, data science, and machine learning techniques to gain insights into biological systems to improve clinical decision and outcome. She is interested in integrating omics, single-cell omics, clinical and other high-dimensional biological data by utilizing data science and machine learning techniques to uncover mechanisms or identify therapeutics and biomarkers for precision medicine. She is excited to develop computational tools for probing immune cells at the single-cell level in order to identify potential biomarkers for HNC immunotherapy responders and potential treatment strategies for HNC immunotherapy non-responders.  She also works to leverage the PARADIGM-based computational framework developed in collaboration with Anthony Gitter, Peng Liu, Paul Ahlquist, and David Page to identify overlapping pathways in existing omics data on drug susceptibilities of HNC cell lines, and to predict and test potential drug sensitivities in SPORE cell line and PDX models in order to identify drugs that could be effective against head and neck cancer in specific microenvironments.  As the former co-Director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Cancer Informatics Shared Resource (CISR), she has the necessary expertise, experience, and resources to lead this project and provide the needed bioinformatics/computational direction, including data analyses, data management and interpretation of statistical results to ensure rigorous analysis of the described experiments.


PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Computer Sciences with minor in Biology (2007)

MS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Computer Sciences (2001)

BA, Cornell University, Biology, Computer Sciences (1997)

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Irene Ong, PhD