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Qiyun Zhu is a computational biologist with expertise in phylogenetics, comparative genomics, metagenomics and multiomics. His research interests include the development of computational tools and resources to improve the analytics of microbiome data, the study of various host and environmental microbiomes and their influence on human health, and the investigation of the evolution of microbes and their hosts, with focus on vertical and horizontal genetic connections between organisms. He led or made significant contributions to a number of microbiome research projects, covering diverse topics such as pathology, nutrition and anthropology, from a variety of sources including host gut, cancer tissue, build environment, ocean and more. He strives to expand understanding of the microbial world through its multiple levels: genes, genomes, lineages, communities, hosts and environments.
The rapid growth of microbiome data yields great opportunities to achieve higher accuracy, greater predictive power and novel insights into biology; at the same time, it poses great challenges in computation and statistics imposed by many dimensions of data and metadata. Advancing microbiome science demands fundamental innovations in both methods and applications and can only be achieved by integrating wisdom from multiple disciplines.
At the Zhu Lab, the team is exploring a wide range of questions that span both the computational (e.g. community ecology to metagenome assembly) and the biological (e.g. the origin of life to the transmission of pathogenicity). They strive to push the frontier of microbiomics by combining the development of bioinformatics tools and the investigation of meta-omics datasets. The team is dedicated to collaborative, reproducible and open-source science.