Dr. Getiria Onsongo is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at Macalester College. He earned a B.A from Macalester College, and MS and PhD from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. After earning his PhD, he worked at the Masonic Cancer Center as a research scientist before moving to the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute where he worked for over five years developing cutting edge bioinformatics tools and software. He also worked and continues to collaborate as a researcher and database consultant for the International Agro-Informatics Alliance. His work focuses on developing scalable bioinformatics software. Getiria’s two main areas of interest are in clinical genomics and agro-informatics.
In collaboration with the Molecular Diagnostics Lab at the University of Minnesota, he developed software for copy number variation detection. This software was clinically certified and is being used in the clinic for genetic testing. In partnership with the International Agro-Informatics Alliance, he is working on developing a system for predictive crop breeding that will enable integrative analysis of genotype, environmental, and management data. His contributions to the G.E.M.STM platform, developed by the International Agro-Informatics Alliance, includes a technique for automatically identifying and correcting errors in plant breeding location data.
As a teacher, Getiria works to build an inclusive classroom environment where all students can thrive. He is always looking for new pedagogical tools and techniques to make classes more inclusive. If you are an educator and have ideas, or have had success in this endeavor, he is always interested in exchange of ideas.