The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.

Patrick Zhao, Ph.D.

Patrick Zhao, Ph.D.
Patrick Zhao, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Noble Researcher since 2004

Zhao Group | curriculum vitae | biosketch

Ph.D., Communication and Information Systems, 2000, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Research emphasis: Bioinformatics and plant genomics

Zhao's research interests include the development of computational approaches for functional and structural genomics, bioinformatics systems and integrated biological databases to support fundamental research in plant science and plant genomics, with a focus on the model legume Medicago truncatula. The increasing sophistication of systems biology and the advent of the "- omics" sciences provide a promising platform for the research and development of numerous cutting-edge methods and applications in basic plant science and plant genomics research. The central methods of computational biology in Zhao's lab are gene sequence and expression analysis using statistical pattern recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning data-mining methods, sequence-function-structure relationship, phylogenetic analysis, biology network and pathways construction, metabolic control theory and modeling, databases integration and "wet"-lab and workbench informatics.

Besides collaborative research with other teams at the Noble Foundation, the lab's independent researches are focused on the development of integrated biological databases for functional and structural genomics, comparative sequence analysis, target selection for functional genomics and software development for microarray, proteomics and metabolomics data analysis.

In 2004, Zhao's lab initiated several collaborative projects with other principal investigators at the Noble Foundation. These include the deployment and further customization of the X Genome Initiative (XGI) system and the design and development of M. truncatula mutagenesis and functional genomics databases. In addition, researchers have developed algorithms and tools for a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) project (for predicting plant miRNA/siRNA target genes and detecting specificity of miRNAs and siRNAs), and established an automated pipeline for SSR marker screening and mapping.