About us

The Department of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at Colleage of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science & Technology was founded in 2002 by senior Professors Qingming Luo, Yanhong Zhou and Bifeng Liu (the first head of the department). The department now has 8 professors and nearly 20 faculty and staff members, all holding Doctoral Degrees and have overseas education experiences. Their research areas have covered biological data generation by microfluidics technology, bioinforamtics method/tool development, cancer genomics, multi-omics big-data integration and data-mining, non-coding RNA analysis, protein modification analysis, glycomics, micorbiome and single-cell omics, etc.

The department has made significant achievements during the past tens of years: Firstly, it was one of the few departments in China that has full range of BS, MS and PhD educations since 2004 till now. Secondly, the nearly 20 faculty and staff members has made it one of the largest department focusing on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology in China. Thirdly, it has been affiliated with Hubei Key Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Molecular-imaging, which has made it a strong research hub in bioinformatics research area in China. Finally, it has established collaboration relationship with more than 50 research groups worldwide, and the graduated students has also been studying and working in more than 20 universities or research institutes in the world.

The department members have served as deputy directors and committee members for Chinese Bioinformatics Association and various other associations. They have also served as editorial board members for several well-known journals including Scientific Reports, BMC Systems Biology, PloS ONE. Their works, with more than 40 publications annually, have appeared on high-profile journals including Nucleic Acids Research, Bioinformatics, Analytical Chemistry, Nature Communications, Plant Cell, PLoS Genetics, etc. They have also authored more than 50 Chinese patents and software copyrights.

Research Areas

1. Analytical-X towards systems biology

Group members: Bifeng Liu; Xin Liu; Xiaojun Feng; Wei Du; Guisen Zhang

The aim of this group is trying to develop advanced analytical methods for systems biology, and further applications in biomedicine, with special focus on microfluidic chip, mass spectrometry and optical molecular imaging.

2. Systems biology and biomedical applications

Group members: Yanhong Zhou; Libin Zhang

3. Bioinformatics of post-translational modifications

Group members: Yu Xue

The group mainly focuses on computational studies of post-translational modifications (PTMs), including developing novel GPS (Group-based Prediction System) series algorithms, studying several new PTMs (eg., epigenetic modifications), constructing easy-to-use softwares and databases, and proteome-wide analysis of PTMs substrates, etc. The group is currently combining systems biology, bioinformatics, and molecular & cellular biology approaches to study genetic variations that potentially influence protein modification status. For details, please refer to the group website at: http://www.biocuckoo.org/.

4. Non-coding RNA

Group members: Anyuan Guo

5. Microbiome bioinformatics

Group members: Kang Ning

The group has more than 10 years of experiences in bioinformatics for omics big-data integration, microbial community analyses and single-cell analyses. The group’s current research interests are in bigd-data for microbiome research, include method and algorithm development for genomics, metagenomics, single-cell omics and proteomics. The group is also interested in synthetic biology and high-performance-computation. For details, please refer to the group website at: http://www.microbioinformatics.org/.

6. Cancer genomics

Group members: Wei-Hua Chen

The aims of this group are to 1) identify new genetic factors involved in susceptibility to human cancers and autoimmune diseases through pedigree analysis and GWAS, 2) identify and evaluate mutational and/or expression signatures that are of predictive power for the prognosis and diagnosis of human diseases, 3) illustrate novel regulatory mechanisms in human diseases by integrating and interrogating multi-omics data deposited in public databanks, and 4) develop novel bioinformatic methods/tools to facilitate human disease research and drug development. Please consult our group website for details and up-to-date information at: http://chenlab.medgenius.info/.

7. Cancer Genetics

Group members: Yuexuan Zhang

My research focuses on understanding how cells maintain genomic stability in response to DNA damage or DNA replication problems. The MCM helicase in a central player for DNA replication. We are currently investigating how MCM is regulated in the presence of exogenous stimuli for the stability of replication forks to ensure proper resumption of DNA synthesis after DNA repair. Given the solid link between loss of genomic stability and cancer development, our study may shed light on the role of DNA damage response as an anti-cancer barrier.