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Bin Zhang, Ph.D.: Multiscale Network Biology Approaches to Integrate Large-scale Omics Data in Complex Human Diseases

Friday, April 7 at 12:30 p.m. in IT 252

Abstract

Network biology has been increasingly utilized to model large-scale Omics data for its great potential to identify novel key variables and interacting pathways underlying a biological function, system or state under examination. Often a single type of molecular networks (e.g., gene coexpression network, gene causal network or protein interaction network) is used for a particular Omics study. For complex biological systems or diseases, a single type of networks is insufficient to fully characterize the underlying Omics data. Multiscale network modeling emerges as a more powerful way to dissect complex molecular interactions and regulations in such complex systems or diseases for identification of novel pathways and targets that are essential to maintain biological functions, initiate disease process or drive disease progression. In this talk, I will introduce our latest progresses on constructing and analyzing multiscale molecular networks including weighted interaction network analysis (WINA), multiscale embedded gene coexpression network analysis (MEGENA) and differential gene correlation analysis (DGCA), and highlight their applications to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

About Bin Zhang

Dr. Bin Zhang is a professor (pending) of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA. His expertise lies in bioinformatics and computational biology, image processing, pattern recognition and data mining. Over the decade, he has developed a series of influential gene network inference algorithms which have been extensively used for identification of novel pathways and gene targets, as well as development of drugs for several major human diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, influenza infection and Alzheimer’s disease. His work on predicting genetic interactions was identified by Nature Biotechnology as one of the breakthroughs in the field of computational biology in 2010. His research that sheds a new light on targeted therapies against breast cancer was featured in a press release by the prestigious AACR Basic Cancer Research conference, chaired by Prof. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, a Nobel Laureate in Medicine. His recent research systematically identified key gene regulatory networks and causal regulators of neurodegenerative diseases. As a prolific researcher, he has published over a hundred papers including several high profile papers in Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Genetics and PNAS. As of May 2016, his publications have been cited 11,386 times, according to Google Scholar.