Wang Lab of Computational Biology

PI:  Dr. Jianrong Wang
Lab Name:  Wang Lab of Computational Biology
MSU Department:  Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering
Award Name:  CAREER: Delineate context-specific gene regulation in 3D chromatin space
Date Awarded:  July 1, 2020

This project will develop a suite of machine learning algorithms that can integrate massive amounts of biological data and derive new knowledge of genomics and gene regulation at an unprecedented systems-level, which will have wide impacts in bioengineering, disease diagnostics, drug discovery and crop improvement. With this award, the Wang Lab is enthusiastic for a bi-directional scientific journey across data science and biology, which will not only stimulate novel machine learning algorithms but also improve insight into biological processes underlying diverse cells, tissues, organisms and environments. The algorithms and software generated by this project will derive interpretable predictions and mechanistic insights into how the complex gene regulatory systems are coordinated in 3D chromatin space.

The award will also allow the Wang Lab and the MSU Museum to create a series of interactive, educational and outreach modules to inspire and to engage students, especially underrepresented minority undergraduates, in biological and computational science research. Novel visualization platforms and infrastructure will be developed to motivate the general public to understand the fascinating genomes and their complex patterns, which will be further incorporated into the Science on a Sphere program. Accomplishing these outreach activities will not only disseminate new scientific discoveries from this award but also encourage more students for STEM education.

A special virtual program was facilitated by the Wang Lab for Holt High School biology teacher Bill Hodges and his students in January 2021. The program was called “Interactive Visualization of the Human Genome: A Coordinated Control System.” The students were able to explore the content through a presentation, Q&A session, and using an online simulation.

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