My career as a computational biologist began with a broad academic background. I hold a BSc in Mathematical Sciences, an MSc in biotechnology in which my research focus was computational biology, and a PhD in Energy Science and Engineering. My PhD studies at the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education gave me the opportunity to work with leading computational and biological scientists at the US Department of Energy-funded Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is home to some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. During my PhD I focused on large-scale data analysis of multi-omic data for the poplar tree, an important bioenergy crop. My PhD research entailed the integration of multiple -omics data types, such as genomic, transcriptomic, phenotypic, metabolomic, genome variant, genome-wide association study and epigenomic datasets, with an emphasis investigating the genomic and molecular basis of complex traits in the poplar tree. In addition, my work on high-performance computing and biological network construction methods contributed to our team (along with Sharlee Climer, Kjiersten Fagnan, Daniel Jacobson, Wayne Joubert, Amy Justice, and David Kainer) winning the ACM Gordon Bell Prize. The power of quantitative methods is that they can generally be applied to the analysis of various biological systems. In a turning point in my career, I began my postdoctoral research with Dr. John Quackenbush at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, focusing on gene regulatory networks in the field of cancer genomics. My work with Dr. Quackenbush involved developing and applying methods in computational systems biology to further our systems-level understanding of human diseases. I developed EGRET (Estimating the Genetic Regulatory Effect on TFs) which constructs genotype-specific gene regulatory networks for individuals, capturing the disrupting effect that their genetic variants have on gene regulation. Since then, I have joined Dr. Jen Jen Yeh's lab at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Yeh leads a cutting edge lab in pancreatic cancer research, and my current work focuses on using multi-omic network-based analysis to decipher the complex gene regulation behind molecular subtypes of this lethal disease.
CS and Math
Emerging Applications
Chemistry and Materials
Climate and Weather
Life Sciences