Event section image

Guiding Rational Vaccine Design using Data Analytics and Machine Learning



Dr. Ahmed Abdul Quadeer

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Quadeer

Post-doctoral Fellow
Signal Processing and Computational Biology Research Group
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong


1445-1545, 05 Nov 2019


OEM609, Oen Hall Building (Main Building), Ho Sin Hang Campus


This talk will discuss how advances in data analytics and machine learning can aid the rational design of vaccines. With a focus on the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), high-dimensional machine learning approaches familiar in signal processing and physics will be introduced and applied to genetic sequence data measured from HCV-infected individuals. Specifically, these approaches will be applied to build computational models that inform how the viral function/structure is mediated by sets of genetic mutations, and to mimic the evolutionary dynamics of the virus in individuals who present specific immune responses. When combined with various sets of experimental and clinical data, the talk will describe how the developed models may be used to identify new vaccine targets for HCV.


Ahmed Abdul Quadeer received the bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the NED University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan, in 2006 and master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia, in 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, he worked as a lecturer in the Electrical Engineering department at KFUPM. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2016. Ahmed is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Signal Processing and Computational Biology research group, headed by Prof. Matthew McKay at HKUST.

With a background in statistics and probability, and particular interest in machine learning and data science, a substantial part of Ahmed’s research has been related to solving multi-disciplinary problems with particular focus on the application of statistical signal processing techniques in communication systems and biology (virology and immunology). Based on his research, Ahmed has authored 10 journal papers, 16 conference papers, 1 book chapter, and 3 US patents. His recent work related to Hepatitis C virus was awarded the best poster award in the 2019 International Bioinformatics Workshop on Virus Evolution and Molecular Epidemiology; and was highlighted at the 2018 World Economic Forum, 2018 Hong Kong Hospital Authority Convention, The Standard newspaper, and School of Engineering dynamic display at HKUST. Ahmed was awarded the prestigious Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) in 2012, university scholarship during master’s program in 2006, and multiple university scholarships during undergraduate program in Pakistan.