Surrounded by geniuses- part 4 : Chunlei

Remember Last week when I confessed to posting my second impressions of two of the geniuses from the Su Lab? Though I had a chance to more accurately portray one of the two aforementioned geniuses, I didn’t have a chance to explain the other one…the hard-working, friendly, go-to-for-help genius.


It turns out, hard-working, friendly, go-to-for-help genius is a grossly inept description Dr. Chunlei Wu. Chunlei earned his PhD in Biomathematics and biostatistics and previously worked on the integrating large-scale multi-omics datasets (such as gene expression, copy number variations, genome-wide associations, proteomics, and next-gen sequencing data) for biomedical discovery. If that sounded impressive, it’s because it IS IMPRESSIVE! That’s a lot of inconsistent data from a lot of different sources to be put together in a useful manner. Hence the reason why the development of software packages for these disparate datasets is impressive and important.

In addition to integrating datasets, Chunlei has also been collaborating with Dr. Dennis Burton’s group on the Antibodyome project which aims to profile all antibodies from patient or animal’s B cells and then make these profiles available via an Antibodyome web portal. While companies have been trying to catalog all commercially available antibodies for awhile, these antibodies are typically limited to antigens of commercial interest. In contrast, the Antibodyome project will focus on clinically relevant antibodies as the profiles are derived from antibodies in patients and determining the genetic sequences (ie- VDJ recombinations) needed to create these antibodies.

Hard-working, friendly, go-to-for-help genius has been working tirelessly to make data more accessible and more useful with his involvement in scientific methodologies and tools such as HAM (for GWAS analysis), GEA (for stepwise gene-set enrichment analysis), BioGPS (the one-stop shop for gene information), and MyGene.info. If you do biomedical research but have never tried using BioGPS to learn more about a gene, I encourage you to try it. BioGPS provides one of the most comprehensive reports about a given gene of interest for biomedical research and has the potential to be even more powerful since the users can contribute their own plugins to further extend the capabilities of the tool. BioGPS is pretty much powered by the MyGene.info service that Mr. hard-working, friendly, go-to-for-help genius has been working tirelessly on as he prepares to make the leap forward and delve into more complex and less organized data types: genetic variant information. As a co-investigator on NIH grant: R01GM083924 (Props to the NIH for supporting the development of MyGene.info and BioGPS), hard-working, friendly, go-to-for-help genius is poised to develop the next logical bioinformatics service: MyVariant.info. Just as how MyGene.info is a high performance, scalable, and extensible research tool for gene annotation data, MyVariant.info will be a useful tool for genetic variant annotation data.

If you’ve used BioGPS or MyGene.info, drop him a note and let him know how useful these tools have been for you. He’s a hard-working, friendly, go-to-for-help kind of guy, so he’ll definitely appreciate the encouragement.


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