About— Me

Greetings! My name is Vincent Cannataro and I am a scientist.

I wove my way through departments of biology, biochemistry, mathematics, zoology, and biostatistics and ended up at the intersection of all of them. I use mathematical modeling, simulations, and bioinformatics to understand the evolution occurring within our bodies everyday—how mutations occur, compete, and accumulate within our tissues—and how these dynamics contribute to aging and cancer.

I am currently a postdoctoral associate at Yale University in the laboratory of Jeffrey Townsend. We are working on many questions concerning the evolution of cancer, and one of the most exciting projects involves developing tools to estimate the selection intensity of specific mutations in growing tumors.

My postdoc work takes a “Top-Down” approach, where we use whole-genome sequencing data and theory from population genetics to infer the dynamics within tumors and tissues. My Ph.D. graduate work took more of a “Bottom-Up” approach, where we created mathematical models of “normal” cellular dynamics and tested assumptions about somatic evolution and their implications in our rate of aging and the incidence of tumor genesis. I was co-advised by Drs. Colette M. St. Mary in Biology and Scott A. McKinley in Mathematics.

Outside of the lab, I enjoy teaching and science communication. I received the University of Florida Department of Biology Teaching Award, and Bill Nye and I teamed up to demonstrate the evolutionary dynamics behind the emergence of antibiotic resistance on the Netflix television show Bill Nye Saves the World (Season 2, Episode 3).

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