Bin Zhang
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Title : Gene Networks and Drivers of Inflammation in Complex Human Diseases
Abstract :

Inflammation plays a criticalrole in many complex diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. Large scale molecular profiling data from such diseases that were generated in the past decade further deepen our understanding of the mechanisms of inflammationunderlying disease progression. Using a multiscale network approach, we systematically uncovered inflammation related gene networks as a causal factor for multiple complex human diseases. These inflammation networks in different diseases share certain topology and key regulators. Validation experiments support the causal role of many key regulators of inflammation in disease progression. These multiscaleinflammation networks as well as their drivers may serve as predictive biomarkers and effective targets for therapeutic intervention.

Biography :

Dr. Bin Zhang is an associate professor of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and a member of the Icahn Institute of Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA. Prior to his appointment at Mount Sinai, he was a Principal Scientist and Group Leader of Sage Bionetworks, a non-profit research organization started in 2009 that grew out of a decade of intense well-funded work at Rosetta Inpharmatics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co. Before he joined Sage, he worked at Merck & Co. first as a senior research scientist from and then as a Research Fellow. Prior to joining Merck & Co., he was a post-doctoral fellow and then a Research Faculty and Senior Biostatistician at David Geffen Medical School of University of California at Los Angeles. He holds a Ph.D. and a master degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master degree in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Tongji University, Shanghai, China. 

His expertise lies in bioinformatics and computational biology, image processing, pattern recognition and data mining. He has developed and significantly contributed to several influential gene network inference algorithms which have been extensively used to identify pathways and gene targets involved in a variety of diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's, obesity and diabetes etc. One of such applications was ranked the second most influential brain tumor publication by the brain tumor research portal in 2006. The discovery of a gene cluster that is causally linked to obesity and diabetes was highlighted in Nature in 2008. 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 recent research that sheds a new light on targeted therapies against breast cancer was featured in a press release by the AACR Basic Cancer Research conference, chaired by Prof. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, a Nobel Laureate in Medicine. His latest research that uncovers dys-regulated multiscale gene networks in Alzheimer’s disease is in press by Cell. His early research on image pattern recognition significantly contributed to several large-scale pattern recognition systems of national interest including U.S. Handwritten Address Identification System, United Kingdom Handwritten Address Identification System and Handwritten Document Comparison System. As a prolific researcher, he has published several high profile papers in Nature, Nature Genetics and PNAS. As of December 2011, his publications have been cited 2750 times, according to Google Scholar.He is the recipient of the Best Paper Award of ICDAR 2003 the Seventh International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition.

For more information about Dr. Zhang's research, please check his website www.mssm.edu/profiles/bin-zhang 


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