Current research foci.

Evolution of genome contents

How did genome evolve and what were the drivers? These questions are prompted by the observations that plants tend to have younger duplicate genes compared to other species, mainly due to frequent whole genome duplications. Example publications in this area:

Stress response evolution

Under stressful environment, the expression of hundreds to thousands of genes changes at once. This response is essential for setting up proper physiological and developmental programs in plants so they can survive in adverse environment. Thus, proper response to stress is likely under significant amount of selective pressure. Example publications:

Signal vs. noise

With the adavanced in omics approaches, we can now measure biochemical activities from genomic regions with ease. Interestingly, it turns out that much of regions between known genes have measurable activities such as transcription. Is such activity noise or reflect some functionality of the region? Example publications:

Regulatory logic & systems biology

We are interested in deciphering the cis-regulatory code, i.e., how cis-regulatory sequenecs work in concert with transcription factors to specify gene expression in conditionally, spatially, and temporally specific manner. Check out:

Machine learning for predictive biology

Biology has become a data-rich discipline with a rapid influx of heterogeneous data in a rapid pace. Novel ways in looking at these data have the potential to answer new questions, make high quality predictions of many biological phenomenons with machine learning models, and, from these predictive models, better understand the underlying mechanisms. Check out: