Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2016
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Garry Nolan (Microbiology & Immunology) and Stanley Lei Qi (Bioengineering, Chemical & Systems Biology)

Research Title: Computational interrogation of high-parameter tissue architecture and its implications for cancer immunotherapy

Research Description: Two ideas are revolutionizing efforts against cancer. The first is immunotherapy, repurposing our immune cells to destroy cancer cells. The second is genome-engineering, perturbing specific genes in our DNA to reprogram cells. But which of our cells’ 25,000 genes do we perturb to reprogram them to fight cancer? Using his expertise in mathematics and machine-learning, Salil combines Professor Stanley Qi’s tools to rapidly perturb genes using CRISPR/Cas9 with Professor Garry Nolan’s tools measuring the molecular behaviors of cells and tissues at unprecedented speed and detail. Salil’s experimental and computational innovations will enable us to systematically reprogram cells against cancer.


Salil is a postdoctoral researcher at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, working on scaling up the machine learning and conceptual tools for analyzing tissues that he developed in his thesis.