Alka Potdar, PhD, received her doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her master's degree from University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is a systems and computational biologist/ bioinformatics scientist with more than 10 years of experience. She currently leads the bioinformatics and biostatistics efforts in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Drug Discovery and Development unit. She is responsible for the analysis of large-scale clinical and biological datasets (such as genotype, expression, sequencing) within the Bilsborough Laboratory as well as for external industry collaborators. She has extensive experience working in interdisciplinary teams and applying engineering, mathematical and statistical concepts to answer biological and disease-related questions. Potdar has developed mechanistic, predictive computational models for various biological pathways such as inflammation, cancer cell migration and iron metabolism. She has created custom bioinformatics pipelines to predict novel candidate variants/genes to drive basic/clinical research and drug discovery and development.