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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Creator of cell imaging software to speak at KU

Published on September 15th, 2010 by Michael Prittie

Anne Carpenter, director of the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, will discuss the CellProfiler software she developed to better understand healthy gene function and genetic causes of diseases at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the Apollo Room in Nichols Hall. Carpenter’s talk is part of the Information Telecommunication and Technology Center Distinguished Lecture Series."Extracting Rich Information from Biological Images" is free and open to the public. "We are honored to have Dr. Carpenter visit," said EECS Associate Professor  Xue-wen Chen, director of ITTC’s Bioinformatics and Computational Life Sciences Lab."Her work in cell image analysis software is pioneering a new research field. Dr. Carpenter is a perfect addition to our Distinguished Lecture Series, continuing our commitment to bring top-notch scientists to ITTC." CellProfiler simultaneously processes thousands of images, automatically measuring the shape, location, texture and hundreds of other features within each cell. The software can uncover subtle differences or changes, isolate individual objects, such as nuclei, and compare data sets. CellProfiler produces results from large-scale experiments in hours compared to months of tedious, error-prone inspection by humans. CellProfiler received Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Award for IT and Informatics in 2009. The software’s point-and-click format allows researchers--even those without a background in computer science--to easily customize and automate data collection for experiments. Carpenter developed CellProfiler after being unable to find commercial software that could analyze cell images. The free open source software debuted in 2005. Carpenter received doctorate in cell biology from Purdue University in 2003. In 2008, she was elected a fellow of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences and featured in a PBS special, "Bold Visions: Women in Science and Technology." She was named a "Rising Young Investigator" by Genome Technology in 2007. In addition to a Novartis post-doctoral fellowship from the Life Sciences Research Foundation, Carpenter received a L’Oreal USA 2006 Fellowship for Women in Science, which recognized five female scientists considered to be leading researchers in the early phase of their careers.