Clinical Metagenomics


Angela Peña-Gonzalez Erika Valderrama Ivan Torres Salguero

PIs: Augusto Valderrama, Fred Vannberg & King Jordan


The main goal of this project is to establish an accurate and unbiased diagnostic method for the identification and characterization of pathogenic agents that cause febrile illnesses in pediatric patients treated at the Clinica Universitaria Rafael Uribe Uribe (CURUU) in Cali, Colombia. To this end, we are developing metagenomic strategies that utilize deep sequencing of sterile sites from infected patients coupled with novel bioinformatic analysis methods.

Universidad Libre Comfenalco Georgia Institute of Technology

Epigenetic Research

"Epigenetic and micronutrient effects on placental angiogenesis"

Jose Guillermo Ortega Laura Rodriguez

PIs: Andres Castillo & Victoria Lunyak


For this project, we will compare promoter gene methylation patterns in DNA isolated from human umbilical cord cells, along with microRNA expression patterns associated with angiogenesis, for placental samples between groups of offspring whose mothers were taking micronutrient supplementation (micronutrients group) or a placebo (control group) during the periconceptional period. The findings could indicate if there are changes in promoter methylation and/or gene expression associated with micronutrient supplementation.

Universidad del Valle The Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Sugarcane Microbiome

“Characterization of nitrogen fixing bacteria from the sugarcane root-zone”

Chris Gaby Lina C. Valderrama-Aguirre

PIs: Joel Kostka & King Jordan


We aim to characterize the native microbiome associated with sugarcane cultivated in the Cauca region of Colombia. The goal of this work is to develop regional-specific cultures of Nitrogen-fixing bacteria that will allow for an increased yield of sugarcane and reduced use of urea based fertilizer, thus providing for more economical and sustainable cropping practices.

Incauca S.A. Georgia Institute of Technology

Colombian Genome Diversity

“Ancesty, Admixture and Selection in Colombian Genomes”

Andrew B Conley Lavanya Rishishwar

PIs: Fred Vannberg, King Jordan, Augusto Valderrama & Adalberto Sánchez


Colombia has a richly diverse population with genetic admixture from ancestral populations in Africa, Europe and the Americas. We have an ambitious plan to characterize the full scope of Colombian genome diversity, and to relate these findings to signals of natural selection and sequence based determinants of health and disease amongst Colombians.

Universidad Libre Universidad del Valle Georgia Institute of Technology

Personalized and Regenerative Medicine

“A Colombian platform for personalized genomics and medicine”

Lu Wang Lavanya Rishishwar

PIs: Fred Vannberg, King Jordan & Augusto Valderrama


We are developing a profile of Colombian genome sequence variation along with a computational platform for personalized genomics and medicine. This work is being done in collaboration with the company Regenerar, Colombia's first full-service company for personalized and regenerative medicine.

Universidad Libre Regenerar S.A. Georgia Institute of Technology

Mendelian Genomics and Metabolic Disorders

“Mendelian genomics of Lysosomal storage disorders”

Lavanya Rishishwar Andrew B. Conley

PIs: Fred Vannberg, King Jordan, Augusto Valderrama, José María Satizábal & Adalberto Sánchez


We are working with families from the Valle del Cauca region in SouthWest Colombia that show cases of rare metabolic disorders in order to understand the genomic determinants of Mendelian disease. The emphasis of these studies is on Lysosomal storage disorders, which have a particularly high prevalence in Native American populations from this region.

Universidad Libre Universidad del Valle BIOS Georgia Institute of Technology

Chromatin Environment and Viral Integration

“Evaluation of Chromatin and epigenetic determinants of viral integration”

Angela Peña-Gonzalez Lavanya Rishishwar

PIs: Felipe García, King Jordan & Victoria Lunyak


The goal of this project is to characterize and compare the chromatin environment in-and-around insertion sites for viruses that integrate into the human genome. We are particulary interested in understanding the effects of scale when evaluating the local chromatin environment as well as discerning combinatoric patterns of histone modifications that mark viral insertion sites.

Universidad del Valle Georgia Institute of Technology The Buck Institute for Research on Aging