HBI Meetup – Maria Fernandes (July 2019)


Privacy-Preserving Alignment based on Filtering

Maria Fernandes, SnT – Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust, University of Luxembourg

Wednesday, 24th July, 15h00-16h00



The human genome is sensitive information, which uniquely distinguish one individual from all the others. Due to its multiple applications in research and medicine and the sequencing machines evolution, genomic data sequencing has become widely available. However, privacy attacks have highlighted the limitations of current privacy-preserving approaches, emphasizing the need for more efficient privacy protecting solutions. In this talk, I will present some contributions of my group on the area of genomic data privacy. I will present the privacy-preserving methodology based on filtering, which allows the early protection of DNA reads. In my talk I will present the developed sensitive information filtering and masking method, which was inspired by a previous work developed by Cogo et al.(2015) in the Universidade de Lisboa. Secondly, I will show the results of study of impact of the filtering and masking method on downstream steps of the sequencing data workflow, in particular on the alignment step. Finally, I will present the DNA-SeAl, a method for classification of data into sensitivity data, developed to replace the black and white state-of-the-art classification.

Short Bio:

Maria Fernandes is a PhD student since 2016 at the Universit´e du luxembourg, in the CritiX team led by Prof. Paulo Esteves-Veríssimo.  She obtained her master’s (2015) degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa.  Her research interests include data privacy, genomic information, data sharing and distributed systems.