Irene Ong, PhD
Assistant Professor
Associate Director of UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Informatics Shared Resource, and Department of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics.

Reproductive Sciences

Office Address
UW Hospital and Clinics
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI, 53705

Administrative Assistant
Cindy Goss


B.A. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

M.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Honors and Awards

NIH R13 Sponsored Attendance Perinatal Research Society Grants Writing Workshop

K12 Scholar,
UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Burroughs Wellcome Pre-Term Birth Grant

Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award

American Family Funding Initiative Award

Career Enhancement Program Award,
Wisconsin Head and Neck Cancer SPORE

Stanic Lab publishes in Frontiers in Immunology

Congratulations to the Stanic Lab, along with colleagues from the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Ong Lab, who were just published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology!

Transcriptional and Functional Programming of Decidual Innate Lymphoid Cells” is a study spearheaded by lead author Jessica Vazquez, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Stanic Lab, and was a joint effort with Deborah Chasman, PhD (Irene Ong lab) and Chanel Tyler, MD (MFM).

It focuses on the discovery of novel innate immune cells in the decidua in human pregnancy at term identified by Vazquez and colleagues. Detailed analysis – using a multitude of advanced single cell technologies over three years of laboratory work – demonstrates functional properties associated with pregnancy success (secretion of cytokines/factors associated with angiogenesis, vascular remodeling). 

Analysis, in collaboration with the Ong Lab, also reveals continuity of these cell types at term pregnancy with those identified in first trimester decidua by a large sequencing consortium in England. This work is an example of collaborative studies between basic/translational scientists, clinicians and computational scientists in our department that drive pregnancy research forward.

You can read the whole manuscript here. Incredible work by everyone involved!

Ong earns American Family Insurance Data Science Institute grant

Huge congratulations to Irene Ong, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences! Ong earned one of nine grants from the American Family Insurance Data Science Institute funding initiative.

Ong will be principal investigator on the project Learning Causal Relationships from Data:

While humans naturally develop an understanding of cause and effect by exploring the world, causal understanding is often missing from artificially intelligent systems, as you may have noticed when your digital assistant goes awry. This research will develop an algorithm to improve the causal reasoning abilities of such systems, and apply the algorithm in healthcare settings to improve patient outcomes.”

The goal of the American Family Funding Initiative is to stimulate and support highly innovative research. The nine successful projects, reviewed by faculty and staff from across campus, were evaluated based on their potential contributions to the field of data science, practical use and the novelty of their approaches.

Read more about the grants here. Congratulations, Dr. Ong!

Ong to collaborate on UW ICTR Translational Basic and Clinical pilot award

Our sincere congratulations to Irene Ong, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences! Ong will serve as collaborator on a new Translational Basic and Clinical pilot award project, awarded by the UW-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research​.

Prediction of Novel Drug Targets in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia”, led by PIs from the UW SMPH Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, plans to use a computational pathway-based approach to examine large genomic datasets to improve our understanding of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

We have no doubt Dr. Ong will be a valuable part of this grant team!