Saez-Rodriguez Group

Systems Biomedicine

Olga Ivanova

I have computer science education and I worked as a java developer in telecom for a couple of years. IT is a well-paid and an exciting field, but not as rewarding as bioinformatics. So I opted for a more intricate career path and got a Masters of Science in bioinformatics in Amsterdam. It happened to be a difficult change since I needed to stretch my knowledge base to various areas that were previously irrelevant to me: molecular biology, chemistry, statistics, and physics. 

My master thesis started as a minor internship project aimed to model epistatic interactions in small networks using logical modeling (Petri nets). The project brought so many exciting results that we ended up with two papers and found another student to continue digging through the results.  

After finishing the MSc, I worked as a junior researcher in the respiratory field and as a junior teacher in bioinformatics master courses. Asthma, the disease I focused on, is among relatively well-controlled diseases, although much can still be done for hard-to-treat cases using computational approaches. My passion, however, lies in a slightly different direction – cancer and ageing, new technologies in biotech and data integration. In 2019, I started my PhD in Saez-Rodriguez group. Here, I will be involved in a cancer-related project with single-cell omics data. 


Research Interests

I am easily excited by many things, curious about life in general, the universe, time, and the theory of all. Unfortunately for me and fortunately for my supervisors, I chose to concentrate on data analysis and modeling for single-cell omics in diseases (currently, cancer). I believe that my computational background combined with the expertise of clinicians, pharmacists and experimentalists, can help to resolve questions about disease development, progression and prediction. Also, I find ageing processes incredible and would want to (eventually) dig deeper into it.  

Professional Career

2019 - present: PhD Candidate, Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine & Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany.
2018 - 2019 Junior research at Amsterdam UMC, Department of respiratory medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2018 - 2019 Junior teacher at Vrije Universiteit, bioinformatics courses, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


2013 - 2014, 2016 - 2017, MSc in Bioinformatics/Systems biology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006 - 2010, BSc in Computer science, Voronezh state university, Russia