Kristen L. Beck  Kristen L. Beck photo         

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Research Staff Member, Sequencing the Food Supply Chain
Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA, USA
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Professional Associations:  International Society for Computational Biology

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Dr. Beck is a research staff member in the AI and Cognitive Software group at the IBM Almaden Research Lab. Today, she serves as the lead bioinformatician for the IBM Functional Genomics Platform, a cloud-based repository to study microbial life at scale. This platform, formerly named OMXWare, is comprised of over 300 million sequences seamlessly connecting genotype to phenotype for bacterial and viral microorganisms. Analytic capabilities for the microbiome and microbial genomics are expanding and include predicting antimicrobial resistance, phenotype signature discovery, and host-microbe interactions. Since joining IBM Research in 2015, Dr. Beck has been an essential member of the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain serving as the IBM Technical Lead for multiple years. Her research interests focus on analyzing next generation sequencing data to gain insights about microbial ecology in food ingredients as well as confidently determination of the presence of various hazards such as pathogenic organisms, antimicrobial resistance genes, and food fraud using quantitative analytics and machine learning. She received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. with honors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.