SpeakerDrChaolin Zhang, Rockefeller University
Host: Xuegong Zhang

Title: Global RNA regulatory networks in the mammalian brain: insights from an integrative systems biology approach

Abstract: Regulation of gene expression at the RNA level, including alternative splicing, polyadenylation, editing, transport and stability, plays critical roles in normal mammalian physiology, and is highly relevant to various human diseases, ranging from neurologic diseases to cancer. At the center of such regulation are interactions of several hundreds of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) with their target transcripts, or RNA regulatory networks. Dissecting such networks, especially at the global scale, has been challenging, but recent advances in high-throughput technologies and their various applications are now opening new avenues to this problem. In this talk, Dr. Zhang will discuss the generation, integration and modeling of multiple types of heterogeneous data, including transcriptome profiles, maps of in vivo protein-RNA interactions, and various genomics and evolutionary features, to accurately infer comprehensive RNA-regulatory networks in the mammalian brain. Computational and experimental analysis of these networks demonstrates the potential of this strategy to formulate experimentally testable hypotheses, and yield insights into the complexity of RNA regulation, their functional organizations and potential connections to neuronal disorders.

Research Interests: Dr. Zhang obtained his Bachelor’s degree at Department of Automation, Tsinghua University. He received his Ph.D. training in Computational Biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he worked with Drs. Michael Zhang and Adrian Krainer. He then worked as a Postdoc Associate and Research Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Dr. Robert Darnell at Rockefeller University. He received the NIH K99 Career Development Award in 2011, and is going to establish his own laboratory at Columbia University Medical Center by the end of 2012.