Advancements and Open Problems in Genomic Privacy

08.03.2017, 16:30 – 17:30

2017/03/08 16:30-17:30

Speaker: Sebastian Stammler | Location: Mornewegstraße 32 (S4|14), Room 3.1.01, Darmstadt

Organizer: CROSSING, Oleg Nikiforov


The fast advancements in DNA sequencing technology make it possible to conduct full genome sequencing under $1000. At this reduced cost, personalized medicine and genetic tests (paternity, ancestry, …) will see more widespread use while genomic researchers will have access to cohorts of growing size. Since the genome is the ultimate personal identifier, this progress comes with big privacy concerns and much research is actually hindered by unsolved ethical, judicial and technical problems. Genomic data is spread all over the world in isolated non-cooperating data silos, rendering possibly seminal research difficult and blocking progress in personalized medicine.

This talk aims to give an overview of current applications of privacy enhancing technologies to various problems in genomic data handling. Open questions in genomic privacy will be presented. The audience will hopefully be inspired to invent new solutions tackling those open challenges

Short Bio

Sebastian Stammler is a CS PhD candidate at TU Darmstadt in Prof. Kay Hamachers group “Computational Biology & Simulation”. His research interest is genomic privacy, which covers all methods protecting and enhancing the privacy of individuals’ genomic data. He has done work on anonymization techniques and now focuses on cryptographic means like multi-party computation to enhance the privacy of genomic data processing.

Sebastian has a Diploma and Master in mathematics, from the Universities of Darmstadt (TU) and Cambridge. At both universities, he focused on pure mathematical subjects like Number Theory, Algebra and Modular Forms. Before joining Hamachers group, he ventured into the working world at Ernst & Young, doing financial mathematics and later joined a small IT integration company.