Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, Department of Medicine, and the College
Samantha Riesenfeld is a scientist focused on developing and using machine learning approaches to analyze noisy, single-cell genomic data, particularly to address immunological questions. By computationally inferring the molecular circuits that regulate gene expression and cellular function, her group aims to understand what factors drive immune responses towards tolerance versus inflammation, and how the immune system may be manipulated to restore health.
Riesenfeld helped discover an unexpected connection between the innate immune and nervous systems, namely, that allergic responses by innate lymphoid cells are modulated by neuropeptide signals. She also contributed to large-scale modeling of embryogenetic cell-fate trajectories and metagenomic analysis of microbial communities. Her honors include fellowships from the National Science Foundation and PhRMA Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award.
Riesenfeld earned a PhD in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in metagenomics at the Gladstone Institutes, followed by a joint fellowship in single-cell genomics and immunology at the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Harvard Medical School, during which she received the BroadIgnite Award, which supports innovative, high-risk postdoctoral research.