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2019 Conference on Quantitative Approaches in Biology

The 2nd Annual Conference on Quantitative Approaches in Biology will be held October 4-5, 2019 at Northwestern University.

This conference is a two-day event that includes a range of activities to stimulate the cross-fertilization of ideas, including guest speaker talks, lightning talks, poster sessions, an undergraduate research competition, a reception, and plenty of networking opportunities.  

Registration has closed.






Friday, October 4 – Day 1

Venue: Louis Room, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL

8:30 8:45 am Registration
8:45 9:00 am Welcome
9:00 9:40 am

Ed Munro, University of Chicago

Dynamic Coupling of Adhesion, Rho Signaling and Force Generation During Neural Tube Closure

9:50 10:30 am

Daniel S. Fisher, Stanford University

Ecology, Evolution, and Fine-Scale Microbial Diversity

10:40 11:20 am

Andrew Oates, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Clocks and Timers in Embryonic Development

11:30 12:30 pm Lightning Talks
12:30 2:00 pm Lunch (Louis Room), Poster Session & Prize for Undergraduate Research in Quantitative Biology Finalists Poster Competition (Northwestern Room)
2:00 2:40 pm

Christine Heitsch, Georgia Institute of Technology

RNA profiling: Extracting structural signals from noisy distributions

2:50 3:30 pm

Madhav Mani, Northwestern University

Two new computational tools for imaging data

3:40 4:00 pm Remarks
4:00 4:45 pm Applying to Graduate School at Northwestern (207 Rock Room)
4:00 5:30 pm Reception & Posters (Northwestern Room)
6:00 Optional Meet up at Bangers & Lace in Evanston


Saturday, October 5 – Day 2

Venue: Louis Room, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL

8:30 8:45 am Registration
8:45 9:00 am Welcome
9:00 9:30 am

Qiong Yang, University of Michigan

From molecules to development: understanding how biological oscillators function and coordinate

9:40 10:10 am

Nicole Creanza, Vanderbilt University

Quantitative Analyses of Bird Songs and Other Learned Behaviors

10:30 11:30 am Lightning Talks
11:30 am 1:30 pm Lunch (Louis Room) & Poster Session (Northwestern Room)
1:30 1:35 pm Group Photo (Louis Room)
1:35 2:05 pm

Chris Petersen, Northwestern University

Quantitative Analysis of Patterning and Scaling in Planarian Regeneration

2:15 2:45 pm

Xin Li and Dave Zhao, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Computational Reconstruction of Gene-Gene Dynamics in Temporal Patterning of Drosophila Medulla Neuroblasts from Single-Cell RNA-Seq

2:55 3:25 pm

Jeremiah Zartman, University of Notre Dame

Neurotransmitter Receptors as Key Modulators of Drosophila Epithelial Morphogenesis

3:35 4:05 pm

James Lee, University of Illinois – Chicago

Membrane Tethering Force in the Pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease

4:10 4:15 pm Closing Remarks
4:30 pm Optional Meet up at Prairie Moon in Evanston



Thank you to our corporate sponsor New England BioLabs.

We are soliciting submissions for 2-slide/2-minute lightning talks from principal investigators, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students. These rapid-fire presentations are designed to briefly advertise research in the group, and present recent findings to the conference attendees. PIs wishing to use these talks to advertise open postdoc positions in their groups are also welcome to do so. These have been very well received in the past.

If you wish to participate, please submit an application by:

  • When you register select the option to participate in a lightning talk.
  • Submit your talk title, list of authors and an abstract in the provided fields.  Selected presenters will have the opportunity to provide updated information before the conference.
  • Please note that we may not be able to accept all applications to present a lightning talk.

There will be a poster session each day. We are encouraging all attendees to bring along posters for the poster sessions. You are welcome to present on both or either day. We will have poster boards available. It is our hope that this exhibit will help seed interesting conversations and facilitate interaction among attendees.  We suggest a poster size no smaller than, any combination of, 18” x 24” and no larger than 36” x 48”.

If you wish to participate you must,

  • When you register select the option to present a poster.
  • Submit your poster title, list of authors and a brief summary in the provided fields.
  • Please note that due to limited space, we will not have space for your poster unless you register.

Read about the 2018 Conference here:
Visit the 2018 Conference website here:


When will registration be open?

Registration closed on September 27th.

What is the registration fee?

The registration fee is $40.00 per person and covers both your Friday and Saturday attendance. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days, and a reception on Friday.

Where will the conference be held?

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in the Norris University Center.


Northwestern University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all events and programs. Accommodations such as sign language interpreters, accessible seating, and presentation materials in alternate formats are provided upon request. Please contact Tosin Akeredolu at or 847-491-5571 by September 15, 2019.* Every reasonable effort will be made to implement accommodations in an effective and timely manner.
*Reasonable efforts will be made to provide the requested accommodations after September 15th.

What are the hotel options?

The demand for local accommodation is very high. We strongly encourage the participants to book their rooms as early as possible. The hotels closest to the venues are The Homestead Evanston and the Hilton Orrington.

  • Hilton Orrington 1710 Orrington Ave, Evanston, IL | 847-866-8700
    • Reduced rate room block available until Monday, September 23. Only 15 rooms. Additionally, one attendee seeking a female roommate. Please contact Tosin Akeredolu at or 847-491-5571 if you’re interested in reserving a room with a slightly reduced rate at the Hilton Orrington or if you’re interested in splitting the reduced rate with a conference attendee.

How do I get to the Evanston campus?
Visit this website to find driving directions and public transit options to campus.

What are taxi options from O’Hare and Midway Airports?
In addition to ride-sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, one of the following local taxi services can bring you to campus. Call these numbers at the arrival level after you have picked up your checked-in baggage.

  • Norshore Cab  1-847-864-7500
  • 303 Taxi      1-800-CALL-303
  • American Taxi 1-847-272-8000

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
There is no free parking on campus. We recommended you use public transportation or walk from your hotel to campus.  The venues are an easy five to ten-minute walk from the recommended hotels.

  • Should you need handicap parking please reach out to Tiffany Leighton Ozmina.
  • Should you need to park on campus, please give yourself at least 10 minutes to walk from the parking garage to the venue, a map of the locations can be found here. Park in lot 211 on Friday and lot 105 on Saturday. Both locations are pay to park ~$9.00.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Contact Tiffany Leighton Ozmina at

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