Dr. Hélène Ruffieux wins the Lopez-Loreta Prize 2019/2020
Hélène Ruffieux, who holds a PhD in mathematics, is the EPFL winner of the Lopez-Loreta Prize 2019/2020. She is awarded 1 million Euros to pursue her research project titled "An atlas of genetic hotspots to disentangle the molecular networks underlying complex diseases".
Dr. Hélène Ruffieux, former PhD candidate in the Chair of Statistics (STAT) now postdoctoral researcher in Cambridge University, is one of the recipients of the award granted each year by the Jean-Jacques et Felicia Lopez-Loreta Foundation for academic excellence to graduates of EPFL and three other European universities (ETH Zurich, Ecole Polytechnique Palaiseau and ISAE-SUPAERO Toulouse). She will receive one million Euros to conduct her research in biostatistics for the next five years.
The project tackles the important issue of clarifying the molecular mechanisms behind major human diseases, by means of a novel methodological approach. It proposes using master genetic drivers of the vast molecular networks, namely hotspot genetic variants, as an anchor to study the disruption of these networks when disease occurs. This unexplored research is a promising avenue for obtaining new functional insights on health outcomes, towards innovative personalized therapies.
Given the dimensionality and complexity of real-world datasets, the design of novel statistical approaches that are both robust and scalable is essential. Hélène Ruffieux will carry her research the MRC Biostatistics Unit of Cambridge University, jointly with the Health and Medical Sciences program of the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence based in London. Her research will involve close collaborations with experts in various fields such as biology, data science, mathematics and medicine.