Health Supernova 2022 Health Supernova 2022
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Lightning Talk | Reviving the Wooly Mammoth

- CDT
Room 104B

Brandi Cantarel
Colossal, Associate Director of Bioinformatics

Dr. Brandi Cantarel is a leader in bioinformatics.  For over 15 years, she has been involved in projects that utilize sequence technology to understand human health, often at the forefront of an emerging field or technology.  She leads bioinformatics development of next-generation sequence (NGS) data, including genomics, transcriptomics and metagenomics in rare/complex genetic diseases, immunology, infectious disease and cancer.  She has applied precision medicine research in a CAP/CLIA setting, with the development of tools for tumor mutational profiling.  In 2020, Brandi was named a Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science.  Prior, Brandi was a faculty member at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Bioinformatics and at the University of Maryland, Institute for Genome Sciences.

Brandi has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


How are the genomes of mammoths different from their closest living relatives? And what genetic changes impact physical and adaptive traits? These are the types of questions bioinformaticians seek to answer by using next-gen tools to help design, execute, and validate biological experiments. And they’re questions that Brandi Cantarel and Colossal are answering to turn back time and revive the wooly mammoth. But it's not just about the species; this set of tools can be used for many purposes, whether it’s de-extinction or re-coding the human genome

In this quick talk, Brandi will outline how Colossal is pioneering CRISPR technology for the purposes of species de-extinction, beginning with the wooly mammoth. She and her team are combining the science of genetics with the business of discovery in an endeavor to jumpstart nature’s ancestral heartbeat and advance the economies of biology and healing through genetics.