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Bioinformatics Program Research Areas
Several of our PhD graduates have gone on to careers in academia. The most recent is Jianrong Wang, BINF 2012.
Jianrong will join Michigan State University as an assistant professor and will start his lab in January, 2017. His research will continue in the direction of developing robust and innovative machine learning algorithms to tackle the big-data challenges in functional genomics, regulatory networks and human disease. A variety of integrative probabilistic models will be built to characterize the multi-layer gene regulation systems in different cellular contexts by leveraging heterogeneous genome-wide 'omics' datasets and small-scale experiments from collaborators. The long-term goal of his lab is to identify the underlying disrupted pathways and mechanisms of human diseases at the systems-level, which is expected to lead to new biological understandings and improved biomedical applications.
Bioinformatics doctoral student Henry Dewhurst has co-developed a new informatics technology called "SAPH-ire," Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots. This tool analyzes existing data repositories of protein modifications and 3D protein structures to help scientists identify and target research on “hotspots” likely to be important for biological function. Shown is the structural projection of PTM hotspots onto the 3D structure of a heterotrimeric G protein. Regions of the protein that are modified are color coded to indicate observation frequency. SAPH-ire integrates these and other features to predict which modifications are most likely to impact the function of the protein. (Credit: Torres Laboratory)