Benjamin VanderSluis

Benjamin VanderSluis

Benjamin VanderSluis

Research Interests:

I’m primarily interested in integrating diverse experimental data to build classifiers that can be used to explore gene function or the operation and organization of biological systems. More specifically, I’m interested in changes in gene function over evolutionary time, such as how gene functions diversify or fail to diversify following a gene duplication event. A better understanding of this process can yield key insights into fundamental evolutionary questions, and will help us better understand the relationships between genes as they exist today. I’m also interested in the structure of the genetic interaction network, which describes these relationships directly and can be measured experimentally by perturbing an organism’s genome and measuring the consequences to its growth rate. I have studied both of these questions in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but I’m also interested in building classifiers to help us better understand and treat diseases in humans.

In my current work under Olga Troyanskaya, I’m using publicly available high-throughput gene expression data to aid in the design of immunotherapeutic treatments for a variety of human cancers. Our goal is to build a classifier that can be implemented by biological components within the human body. Such a biological classifier could help the body’s innate immune system distinguish between cancerous cells and normal cells, attacking only the former, and would hopefully provide an effective and lasting treatment.

My Google Scholar profile can be found here.


Ph.D., Computer Science (2014)

M.S., Computer Science (2010)

B.S., Computer Science, with Minor in Mathematics (2006)

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN


VanderSluis B, Hess DC, Pesyna C, et al. Broad metabolic sensitivity profiling of a prototrophic yeast deletion collection. Genome Biol. 2014;15(4):R64. doi:10.1186/gb-2014-15-4-r64.

Brown JCS, Nelson J, VanderSluis B, et al. Unraveling the biology of a fungal meningitis pathogen using chemical genetics. Cell. 2014;159(5):1168-1187. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.10.044.

VanderSluis B. Computational analysis of genome-scale growth-interaction data in Saccharomyces cerevisiae [dissertation]. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota; 2014.

Baryshnikova A, VanderSluis B, Costanzo M, et al. Global linkage map connects meiotic centromere function to chromosome size in budding yeast. G3 (Bethesda). 2013;3(10):1741-1751. doi:10.1534/g3.113.007377.

Alver B, Jauert PA, Brosnan L, et al. A whole genome screen for minisatellite stability genes in stationary phase yeast cells. G3 (Bethesda). 2013;3(4):741-756. doi:10.1534/g3.112.005397.

Wagih O, Usaj M, Baryshnikova A, et al. SGAtools: one-stop analysis and visualization of array-based genetic interaction screens. Nucleic Acids Res. 2013;41(Web Server issue):W591-W596. doi:10.1093/nar/gkt400.

Deshpande R, VanderSluis B, Myers CL. Comparison of profile similarity measures for genetic interaction networks. PLoS One. 2013;8(7):e68664. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068664.

Costanzo M, Baryshnikova A, VanderSluis B, Andrews BJ, Myers CL, Boone C. Genetic networks. In: Walhout M, Vidal M, Dekker J, eds. Handbook of Systems Biology: Concepts and Insights. 1st ed. Waltham, MA: Academic Press; 2012:115-135.

Sharifpoor S, van Dyk D, Costanzo M, et al. Functional wiring of the yeast kinome revealed by global analysis of genetic network motifs. Genome Res. 2012;22(4):791-801. doi:10.1101/gr.129213.111.

Bellay J, Atluri G, Sing TL, et al. Putting genetic interactions in context through a global modular decomposition. Genome Res. 2011;21(8):1375-1387. doi:10.1101/gr.117176.110.

Li Z, Vizeacoumar FJ, Bahr S, et al. Systematic exploration of essential yeast gene function with temperature-sensitive mutants. Nat Biotechnol. 2011;29(4) 361-367. doi:10.1038/nbt.1832.

VanderSluis B, Bellay J, Musso G, et al. Genetic interactions reveal the evolutionary trajectories of duplicate genes. Mol Syst Biol. 2010;6(1):429. doi:10.1038/msb.2010.82.

Costanzo M, Baryshnikova A, Bellay J, et al. The genetic landscape of a cell. Science. 2010;327(5964):425-431. doi:10.1126/science.1180823.

Bellay J, VanderSluis B, Kim Y, Bandyopadhyay S, Myers CL. Characterization of systems-level organization through mining large-scale genetic interaction networks. Paper presented at: Seventh IEEE International Workshop on Genomic Signal Processing and Statistics; May 17-21, 2009; Minneapolis, MN. doi:10.1109/GENSIPS.2009.5174329.