Curriculum Vitae (CV)

These days, I am a dual-degree PhD/MA candidate in Genomics & Computational Biology and Statistics at the University of Pennsylvania. I am fortunate to be advised by Marylyn Ritchie and John Wherry.

My primary research interests are in knowledge representation in immunology. My current research focuses on developing an immune-focused ontology and high-quality knowledge graph for autoimmunity from heterogeneous multi-omics databases. I am passionate about data integration, structuring information into explicit reasoning, improving the machine-readability of heterogeneous data, and developing user-friendly tools for computational immunology.


8/2020 – Present University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

  • PhD Genomics & Computational Biology, Perelman School of Medicine

  • MA Statistics (Dual-Degree), Dept. of Statistics & Data Science, Wharton School of Business

8/2018 – 5/2020 Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

  • MS Biotechnology, Concentrations in Bioinformatics and Molecular Targets & Drug Discovery

6/2017 – 6/2018 Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)

  • Postbac Research Education Program, NIGMS/NIH R25 Training Program, Concentration: Computational Epidemiology

8/2013 – 4/2017 University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

  • BA Anthropology, Concentrations: Cultural and Biological Anthropology


Managing and executing collaborative projects, including strong interpersonal leadership skills, creation of customized project trackers, strategic planning, grant writing, mentorship and supervision of trainees, communicating with multidisciplinary team members, taking initiative, and due diligence in literature review.

Computational biology, which builds upon expansive knowledge concerning immunology, molecular biology, immunotherapy, and neuroscience earned from years at the bench designing and executing large projects and experiments.

Immunology and immunotherapy, including T cell activation assays, flow cytometry panel design and acquisition, cytometry data analysis (fluorescent and CyTOF), adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector preparation, focused ion beam, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, high-throughput small molecule screening, mouse models for cancer research, irradiation, adoptive T cell therapy expansion, and tail-vein injections.

Data science, informatics, and statistics, including proficiency in Python and R programming, database design, domain-focused ontology curation, knowledge graph construction, querying relational and graph databases (mySQL and Cypher/neo4j), familiarity with javascript and HTML5. Background in computational biology, genomics, advanced statistics, big data handling, and high-performance computing.

Leadership, fundraising, and strategic partnerships, including engaging key stakeholders within the biotech cluster, forging strong professional relationships and networks, acquiring corporate sponsorships and stakeholder buy-in, professional scientific illustrator, persuasive communicator, and talented at community-building to improve communication and productivity.


8/2020 – Present Genomics & Computational Biology Grad Group, Penn Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)

Graduate Researcher. Co-Advised by Dr. Marylyn Ritchie & Dr. John Wherry

  • Integrating heterogeneous biological knowledge into a dynamic, machine-readable graph database

  • Building towards crowd-powered intelligence to automate analysis and accelerate insights of immunology data

8/2018 – 7/2020 National Cancer Institute & Johns Hopkins Partnership Program (Bethesda, MD)

Biotechnology Fellow. Advisor: Dr. Grégoire Altan-Bonnet

  • Led development efforts towards a quantitative platform to map T-cell diversity arising from high-throughput pharmacological perturbations and optimized differentiated T cells for maximal tumor killing capabilities

6/2018 – 8/2018 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston, MA)

Post-Baccalaureate Research Intern. Advisors: Drs. Brent Coull, Kyu Ha Lee, Jacqueline Starr

  • Conducted a computational comparative analysis of univariate and multivariate methods to improve statistical handling of zero-inflated microbiome data for youth perinatally exposed to HIV

6/2018 – 8/2018 Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Harvard Center for Brain Science (Cambridge, MA)

Irene & Eric Simon Foundation Research Fellow. Advisor: Dr. Sam Gershman

  • Organized and ran a successful fMRI study to determine the distinct brain regions associated with uncertainty-guided decision-making

6/2017 – 5/2018 Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Lab, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)

Commonwealth PREP Scholar. Advisor: Dr. Bryan Lewis

  • Drove the multidisciplinary collaboration with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology through successfully writing the funded catalyst grant and establishing a VR studio

  • Helped build an immersive visualization environment for public health intervention strategy planning and performed multivariate analyses to study covariates in the Appalachian opioid epidemic

9/2015 – 4/2017 Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (Gainesville, FL)

Research Assistant. Advisors: Dr. Todd Golde

  • Designed and characterized new adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors as a novel immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and brain cancer

  • Screened 29 capsid serotype combinations against more than 40 human and murine glioblastoma and various cancer cell lines for evaluation of receptivity

1/2017 – 4/2017 Bob Graham Center for Public Service, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

Graham Civic Fellow. Advisor: Dr. Kevin Baron

  • Conducted in-depth interviews and investigated early childhood education services in Lake County

  • Worked with 50 students to assemble a cumulative analysis across 67 counties in Florida to inform state policy

1/2014 – 4/2017 Software Analysis and Advanced Materials Processing Center, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

Materials Research Consultant. Advisor: Dr. Kevin Jones

  • Improved methods for processing electronic materials using focused ion beam (FIB) and analysis and hydrofluoric acid etch techniques for scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

  • Assisted graduate student projects concerning dopant activation, Ohmic contacts, reduction of defects, and characterization of defect structures in advanced electronic materials

1/2014 – 4/2014 Materials Science Department, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

Research Assistant. Advisor: Dr. Brad Willenberg and Dr. Chris Batich

  • Designed and studied formulations and 3-D molds for novel insect spatial repellent devices targeting Aedes aegypti to combat malaria worldwide and aid in equine protection


Van Q. Truong, Xuefei Liu, Daniel Ryu, Laura Londono, Thomas Delgado, Carolina Ceballos-Diaz, Awilda Rosario, Eva Rostonics, Georgia Soares, Jessica Lew, Jiaxin Xie, Giavanna I. Paterno, Mary Parianos, Veronica Richards, Amanda Hernandez, Lauren Rostkowski, Sanjana Bhargava, Michael Ali, Andrea Ollarves, Kimberly Menezes, Christian Archer, Sarah Murphy, Sydney Modrow, Julia Giardina, Devin Galin, Cory Jones, Arielle Schultz, Estefania Steiner, Heather Boachard, Ted Frederic, Alexis Thornton, Chun-Rung Chen, Sana Mahmood, Ramona Parkash, Ankitha Reddy, Marshall Goodwin, Hunter Futch, Cara Croft, Jenna Leclerc, Paramita Chakrabarty, Yona Levites, Edgardo Rodriguez, Todd E. Golde, and Pedro E. Cruz. Evaluating AAV Capsid and Promoter Combinations to Achieve Cell Specific Gene Expression in Astrocytes, Microglia, Neurons, Oligodendrocytes, and Neural Progenitors.


Van Q. Truong*, Jakob A. Woerner*, Tess A. Cherlin*, Yuki Bradford, Daniel H. Hui, Anastasia M. Lucas, Manu K. Shivakumar, Rachit Kumar, Milton Pividori, Chelsea C. Okeh, S. Chris Jones, Abigail C. Bossa, Stephen D. Turner, Marylyn D. Ritchie and Shefali S. Verma. Quality Control Procedures for Genome-Wide Association Studies. Curr Protoc Hum Genet. (2022) *Denotes equal first-author contributions

Momchil S. Tomov, Van Q. Truong, Rohan A. Hundia, Sam J. Gershman. Dissociable Neural Correlates of Uncertainty Underlie Different Exploration Strategies. Nature Communications, (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-15766-z.

Marshall Goodwin, Cara L. Croft, Hunter S. Futch, Daniel Ryu, Carolina Ceballos-Diaz, Xuefei Liu, Giavanna Paterno, Catalina Mejia, Doris Deng, Kimberly Menezes, Laura Londono, Kefren Arjona, Mary Parianos, Van Truong, Eva Rostonics, Amanda Hernandez, Sanford L. Boye, Shannon E. Boye, Yona Levites, Pedro E. Cruz, Todd E. Golde. Utilizing minimally purified secreted rAAV for rapid and cost-effective manipulation of gene expression in the CNS. BMC Molecular Neurodegeneration, 15:15 (2020). DOI: 10.1186/s13024-020-00361-z.

Hunter S. Futch, Cara L. Croft, Van Q. Truong, Eric G. Krause, Todd E. Golde. Targeting psychological stress signaling pathways in Alzheimer's disease. BMC Molecular Neurodegeneration, Volume 12, Number 1, Page 1 (2017). DOI: 10.1186/s13024-017-0190-z

William Brewer, Yan Xin, Chris Hatem, David Diercks, Van Truong, Kevin Jones. Lateral GE Diffusion During Oxidation of Si/SiGe Fins. Nano Letters, 2017, 12 (4), pp 2159-2164. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b04407

A. G. Lind, T. P. Martin Jr., V. C. Sorg, E. L. Kennon, V. Q. Truong, H. L. Aldridge, C. Hatem, M. O Thompson, K. S. Jones. Activation of Si Implants Into InAs Characterized by Raman Scattering. Journal of Applied Physics, 119, 095705 (2016). DOI: 10.1063/1.4942880


Moore, J.H., Truong, V.Q., Robbins, A.B., Nicholson, D., Williams-Devane, CL. Ten important roles for academic leaders to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in data science. BioData Mining 14, 22 (2021).

Van Truong. “Beyond Zoom: Virtual Gathering Spaces for the Holidays and Beyond” ExtremeTech. (2020)


2-yr Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship, 1 of 36 recognized globally as the next generation of exceptional computing research talent

2-yr Molecular Targets & Drug Discovery Graduate Research Fellowship, 1 of 2 selected by the National Cancer Institute for full MS funding & research stipend

Pipelines into Biostatistics Research Fellowship, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Computational Neuroscience Fellowship, Irene & Eric Simon Brain Research Foundation

Commonwealth Research Scholar Fellowship, Virginia Tech

Science, Engineering, Art, and Design Transdisciplinary Grant, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, Virginia Tech

Civic Innovators Grant, Bob Graham Center for Public Service, University of Florida

4-yr Most Valuable Student National Scholar, Elks National Foundation

(Career Total: $400,000+)


O. Ruth McQuown Women’s Leadership Award, 1 of 7 chosen based on achievements & commitment to social issues including addressing issues for women, racial minorities, and those of low socio-economic background by UF College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

1st Place Writer’s Award, Presented at the first reunion conference of >4,000 villagers living abroad since fleeing the shores of An Bang Village after Vietnam War

Founders Scholarship, 1 of 6 nationwide life sciences professionals awarded by the Women In Bio Organization

Novartis Hackathon Challenge Award, 1 out of 10 teams awarded for our agent-based model approach to image segmentation by Novartis-Academia Conference on Quantitative Sciences in Drug Development

Graham Scholar Award, Bob Graham Center for Public Service, University of Florida