Vicky Yao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rice University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and received her PhD from the Department of Computer Science, advised by Olga Troyanskaya at Princeton University.
Her research focus is in computational biology, where she develops machine learning and statistical methods to improve our understanding of the biological circuitry that underlies living organisms and how its dysregulation may lead to disease. More specifically, she has worked on modeling tissue and cell type specificity as well as disease progression, both by developing general methods (such as semi-supervised network integration) and in applying them to decipher the molecular underpinnings of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and rheumatoid arthritis.
An important facet of her research is building intuitive, interactive systems as interfaces to the models and predictions that she develops and she has built such systems whenever appropriate.