Yiyi Liu wants to solve real world problems. A fourth-year doctoral student in biostatistics, she has developed statistical methods to predict synergistic effects between drug compounds that are candidates for combination drug therapy for cancer patients.
Combinatorial therapies have been under intensive research for cancer treatment, says Yiyi. Yet due to the large number of possible combinations among candidate compounds, exhaustive screening is prohibitive. Yiyi has developed computational tools that can predict compound combination effects and prioritize which combinations to pursue.
Also curious about the composition of cells in different brain regions and their changes in brain development and neurological disorders, Yiyi is now working on developing statistical models to identify transcriptionally distinct cell types and deconstruct the heterogeneities of cells throughout mammalian brain.
When not working, Yiyi enjoys Yale’s galleries and concerts. She is also a fan of novels, especially Jane Austin. While reading Austin in English has been a challenge, says Yiyi (who is from China), she appreciates the humor which is lost in translations.