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Data Science Award announcement

We are pleased to announce that Victor Yuan has won the Department’s 2020-21 Data Science Award.

Victor is a PhD student in UBC’s Genome Sciences and Technology program, with research focused on characterizing epigenetic variation across human placental cell types and gestation. In pursuit of this research, he has used applied machine learning to develop epigenomic-based research tools to predict ancestry and has authored the R package, planet, accepted as a part of Bioconductor. The package allows the inference of ancestry/ethnicity, cell composition, and gestational age from human placental DNA methylation data. Victor has also contributed to data access by developing the Placental Cell Methylome Browser, an interactive data visualization app for a specific placental dataset from his research lab. The app allows researchers to explore a unique placental dataset without needing any prior programming skills or experience.

Victor has contributed to the mentoring and training of students in data science in many ways. Since 2019, Victor has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant in STAT 545, Exploratory Data Analysis, a course that emphasized R coding and reproducible research practices. He has been instrumental in developing course resources and supporting learning. He has also hosted several R workshops and provided R programming help, all at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. And he has designed and supervised several student projects: two GSAT MSc rotation projects and one undergraduate honours thesis.

Victor’s many awards and research publications are further evidence of the excellence and quality of his work.

Congratulations, Victor! 

For more information on this award, please see

August 25, 2021