Frederick P. Roth, PhD


Dr. Frederick Roth received his B.A. Degree in Physics and Molecular & Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Biophysics at Harvard University.  After two years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, he spent ten years leading a research effort at Harvard Medical School.  In 2011, he accepted an inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chair in Integrative Biology and his team is currently located within the Donnelly Centre at the University of Toronto and at the Lunenfeld Institute of Mt Sinai Hospital (also in Toronto). The objectives of Dr. Roth’s research group are to develop technology for efficiently discovering the function of genes and determining how they act in concert to specify cellular programs controlling development, differentiation, and disease states.  Genetic approaches can infer the nature of underlying systems from observing the effects of diverse perturbations.  However, exploring the astronomical space of potential perturbations and resulting molecular phenotypes requires fundamentally new technologies. In the computational realm, Dr. Roth's group is developing software and databases to prioritize experimentation, e.g., prioritizing causal genes at loci identified via genome-wide association studies.  In the experimental realm, Dr. Roth's team is developing experimental methods to harness next-generation sequencing technologies to efficiently generate context-dependent maps of protein and genetic interactions.

Dr. Roth believes that biocurators play a major role in conveying crucial biological information in a timely manner to scientists, and have the unique opportunity to set the tone for prioritizing experiments to study causal genes identified by large scale methods. His message is that biocurators should take up this opportunity and be agents of change in the experimental world.



Title and Abstract:


Technologies for mapping and navigating genomes and genetic networks.

Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Biocuration involves cataloging and archiving biological information.  Biocurators are also asked to convey this information to users quickly, intuitively and seamlessly, in just the right amounts and at the appropriate levels of abstraction.  Biocurators have the further opportunity to be agents of change, playing a constructive role by prioritizing experiments and suggesting the most likely (or perhaps even the most interesting) hypotheses.  I will discuss my group's efforts to develop technology for better mapping and navigating genomes and genetic networks.  Topics may include predictive and quantitative and phenotype annotation, a strategy for facilitating discovery of synergistic drug pairs, interactive tools for genome browsing, and experimental technology to map context-dependent genetic and protein interactions.