Van Q. Truong


Hi, I'm Van! I am a biomedical data scientist specializing in computational immunology and translational biomedical informatics. Currently, I am co-mentored by Dr. Marylyn Ritchie and Dr. John Wherry at the University of Pennsylvania Genomics & Computational Biology PhD Program and Wharton School Dual-Master's in Statistics.

I am primarily a computational scientist, but sometimes I wear other hats. I also previously served as the liaison between the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective and the Penn Interdisciplinary Network for Scientists Promoting Inclusion, Retention, and Equity.

Additionally, I am committed to the mentorship and empowerment of underrepresented students. Previously at age 19, I biked solo across the country to fundraise for this cause which is close to my heart. I continue to closely mentor high school, college, post-bac, and graduate students.


My interests outside of science include mountain biking, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, camping, cooking, foraging, freelance scientific illustration, designing interactive art sculptures, and serving as the Executive Director of Village Bridges, a social impact organization I co-founded with a team of young women from my village to serve our Vietnamese diaspora community.

Some things I've put together:




  • June - Awarded the Galaxy Conference Fellowship in honor of Dr. James Taylor to support trainees in genomics and data-intensive science to reduce barriers for learning and collaboration by the Galaxy Genomics Community Fund

  • March - Published our editorial in BioData Mining Journal!


  • August - Inducted into the Fontaine Society with PhD training support from the Fontaine PhD Fellowship, awarded by the University of Pennsylvania to support the academic development of PhD students from underrepresented backgrounds

  • May - Graduated from Johns Hopkins with my MS in Biotechnology with two concentrations in Bioinformatics and Molecular Targets & Drug Discovery

  • May - Published a paper in Nature Communications!


Penn Graduate Student Center Newsletter, Three PhD Students from Penn Selected as 2022 Microsoft Research PhD Fellows,

The Huffington Post, "One Florida Student Turned Studying Into Art"

USA Today, "Art meets science: Florida student's creation catching campus' eye"

The Gainesville Sun, "UF students' community projects gain financial support"

Lake Alice, University of Florida College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Magazine featured a profile on my relentless drive and perseverance as a first-generation immigrant and college student