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Tammie Dudley <[log in to unmask]>
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PhD Student <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 20 Oct 2010 09:53:56 -0400
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Integrative Genomics Approaches to Studying Complex Diseases

Departmental Colloquium
Dr. Zhongming Zhao
Associate Professor
Departments of Biomedical Informatics, Psychiatry, and Cancer Biology
Vanderbilt University

The continuous, exponential growth of information produced in the 
biomedical domain has led to a paradigm shift of biological 
investigation, such that the bottleneck in biomedical research is 
shifting from data generation to data analysis. High-throughput 
technologies such as microarray and next-generation sequencing have 
generated huge amounts of biological data during the recent years, 
spanning DNA sequences, genes and their expression and regulation 
(transcriptome), genetic variation (e.g. SNPs and copy number variations 
(CNVs)), microRNAs and their targets, methylation status (epigenetics 
and epigenomics), and proteomics data. Here I present integrative 
genomics analysis of the vast amount of data from experiments and 
literature and demonstrate it in some complex diseases such as 
schizophrenia and cancer. Specifically, this talk includes our recent 
multi-dimensional evidence-based approach to identify candidate genes in 
schizophrenia and then follow up network and pathway analysis, network- 
and pathway-based analysis of genome-wide association studies, and 
cancer biomarker identification from microarray gene expression. The 
approaches can be similarly applied to other complex diseases or traits.

About the Speaker: Dr. Zhongming Zhao received his Ph.D. degree in human 
and molecular genetics from the University of Texas Health Science 
Center at Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center, under the mentorship of 
Prof. Wen-Hsiung Li (an academician) in 2000. He also received three 
M.S. degrees: genetics from Peking University in 1996, biomathematics 
from UT-Houston in 1998, and computer science from the University of 
Houston in 2002. After completion of his Keck Foundation postdoctoral 
fellowship in bioinformatics in August 2003, he became an assistant 
professor of bioinformatics at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 
2009, he joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center and became an 
associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Chief 
Bioinformatics Officer in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and 
director of the Bioinformatics Resource Center. His research interests 
are bioinformatics and systems biology approaches to studying complex 
diseases. He has published more than 75 papers in these areas. Dr. Zhao 
served as an editor or editorial board member for more than 10 journals, 
as a program committee member and session chair for more than 15 
international conferences, and as a reviewer for more than 50 journals 
and book publishers as well as more than 10 funding agencies. He 
received several awards, including the Keck Foundation Post-doctoral 
Fellowship (twice: 2002, 2003), the White Magnolia Award (2006), the 
NARSAD Young Investigator Award (twice, 2005, 2008), the VPSD Career 
Development Award (2009), and the best paper award from the ICICí08 
conference. He is also actively involved in teaching, including teaching 
courses in the bioinformatics field and supervising trainees.

Department Conference Room