We have a broad interest in host immunity and infectious disease, working on diverse projects related to viral and bacterial infection, vaccine development, transplant rejection, biomaterial and inflammation, exposure of developing immune systems to environmental agents, etc. We are actively engaged in collaborative research with both internal and external investigators.

Complex immune genes: the genetics and transcriptional regulation of complex immune genes such as immunoglobin (Ig), T cell receptor (TCR), major histocompatibility complex (MHC) (human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in humans), and Fc gamma receptors in humans and non-human primates. Our group tackles this complexity with the development of new genomic resources and assays and custom designed computational solutions, in combination with different technologies such as long and short read sequencing and single cell analysis.

Microbiome and immunity: the impact of host microbiome on immunity. We are identifying microbial features that are predictive of disease progression, risk of infection, and vaccine efficacy in humans and preclinical non-human primate models. We use both 16S based sequencing and deep transcriptome sequencing analysis to examine functional microbial activities.

Long noncoding RNA and immunity: immunity and infection related long non-coding RNAs. We use integrative approaches including large scale bulk and single cell RNA-seq data mining and CRISPR/Cas9 based library screen.

Machine learning in biology: In collaboration with Dr. Xiaorui Liu in Computer Science and Dr. Wei Wang at Mata, we investigate the use of machine learning techniques especially deep learning to uncover novel biological insights from the analysis of large scale genomic data.

Funding: Our research is supported by National Institutes of Health, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, Bioinformatics Research Center, Comparative Medicine Institute, and Center for Human Health and the Environment.