August 17, 2016
Koller to Build World-Class Computational Biology and Machine Learning Team
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., August 17, 2016 – Calico, a company focused on aging research and therapeutics, today announced that Daphne Koller, Ph.D., is joining the company as Chief Computing Officer. In this newly created position, Dr. Koller will lead the company’s computational biology efforts. She will build a team focused on developing powerful computational and machine learning tools for analyzing biological and medical data sets. She and her team will work closely with the biological scientists at Calico to design experiments and construct data sets that could provide a deeper understanding into the science of longevity and support the development of new interventions to extend healthy lifespan.
“We have always believed that understanding how we age and developing therapeutics to address aging and age-related diseases would require a coming together of the research from great biologists and geneticists with the incredible advances that are being made in computational biology and machine learning,” said Arthur D. Levinson, CEO and Founder of Calico. “Over the past three years, we have focused on building a world-class team of scientists who are studying the biological pathways of aging. With Daphne, we are bringing to Calico not only one of the world’s foremost experts in machine learning, but someone with a deep passion for understanding how these new technologies could bring forth insights into the biology of aging and disease.”
“The complexity and interdependencies of the various biologic processes that underlie aging and age-related diseases in humans are staggering, but need to be better understood if significant advances in medicine are to be made,” said Hal Barron, President of Research and Development at Calico.”Daphne and her team will work in close collaboration with the basic and translational scientists at Calico and partner with other machine learning experts, including the team at Google, to derive novel insights and effective interventions.”
“I am very excited to be joining the exceptional team at Calico and working closely with the company’s scientists and collaborators to develop and use advanced computational technologies and machine learning tools to better understand the biology of longevity and disease,” said Dr. Koller. “High-throughput experimental protocols are transforming biology into a data science. But the potential of the massive data sets that are and that could be produced will only be fully tapped via the development of powerful computational tools. I am looking forward to leading this initiative, and building a world-class team that can help analyze these data and make a significant impact on human health.”
Prior to joining Calico, Dr. Koller was President and co-founder of Coursera, a leading online education platform. Dr. Koller was recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in 2014, Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2012, Newsweek’s 10 Most Important People in 2010 and Huffington Post 100 Game Changers for 2010, among others. She is also a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, at the invitation of President Obama and Secretary Pritzker.
Dr. Koller was also the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where she served on the faculty for more than 18 years. She worked in the area of machine learning and probabilistic modeling, with applications to systems biology and personalized medicine. She is the author of more than 200 refereed publications in venues that range from Science to the NIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems) conference.
She is the recipient of awards that include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the ACM/Infosys award, the IJCAI Computers and Thoughts Award (given biannually to an outstanding young scientist in Artificial Intelligence), and membership in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Koller received her bachelor’s degree in math and computer science and master’s degree in computer science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford in 1994.
Calico (Calico Life Sciences LLC) is a Google-funded research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. Calico will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. To learn more about Calico, visit www.calicolabs.com.