Not only has he studied networks, Zhang also formed a broad network of collaborations with scientists across the Washington University campus and outside of the university. The problems he has been interested in are diverse, ranging from stress responses and virus infection in plants, such as rice, to human diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, herpesvirus infection, sepsis, cardiac hypertrophy, lung cancer and lung transplantation. The computational tools his group has developed are helping him and his collaborators come to grips with how perturbation to gene expression can lead to complex traits and human diseases as well as how microRNAs regulate gene expression.
Zhang was recently awarded a grant from the Alzheimer's Association to develop computational systems biology methods for analyzing gene expression perturbation in diseased brains. He has been collaborating with scientists in the Washington University School of Medicine and Scripps Institute in La Jolla, California, to study roughly 30 postmortem brain samples of people who died from Alzheimers disease.
Im interested in modeling gene expression perturbation in diseased brains, and am looking for the genetic signature, Zhang said. Due to the complexity of Alzheimer's disease, we are developing other tools and will have to use all the tools we have and can get. Its a polygenic disease, with a lot of genes at work . Im sure well find that a network is involved.
|Contact: Wexiong Zhang|
Washington University in St. Louis