Yufeng Shen

Yufeng Shen


Associate Professor, Department of Systems Biology
Associate Director, Columbia Genome Center


Department of Systems Biology
Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center
Department of Biomedical Informatics
Program for Mathematical Genomics


(212) 851-4662

Yufeng Shen is an associate professor in the Columbia University Department of Systems Biology and Department of Biomedical Informatics. After completing his PhD in computational biology in 2007 at the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, he led the analysis of the first personal genome produced by next-generation sequencing (that of Dr. James D. Watson). In 2008 he joined Columbia University as a postdoctoral fellow, working in computational genomics and genetics of drug adverse reactions, and then joined the faculty in July 2011. Dr. Shen is interested in developing and applying computational methods to study human genetics and diseases. The research in his group is at the interface of biology, statistics, and computer science. Specifically, his group is working in four areas, including genome sequencing and assembly, mapping of disease genes, the role of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in autoimmunity, and pharmacogenomics.

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Yufeng Shen, PhD: Seeking Discovery of Novel Genetic Variants that Cause Disease
Utilizing new methods, Yufeng Shen answers longstanding questions that impact health. Specifically, Dr. Shen's research has focused on discovering novel genetic variants that cause human diseases. He is developing new computational methods to interpret genome data, identifying genetic causes of human diseases by integrating multiple types of genomic data, and modeling of immune cell populations. Learn more about Dr. Shen and his lab's research in this recent faculty profile.
Examining Genetic Risk Factors in Severe Birth Defect
A study, led by Dr. Yufeng Shen and Dr. Wendy Chung at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, investigated the genetic risk factors linked to congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and analyzed data from whole genome sequencing and exome sequencing to determine novel mutations. The study uncovered the link between CDH and additional developmental disorders. Researchers have been aiming to identify new risk genes in CDH—and other developmental disorders—with the hope that with improved genetic diagnosis more tailored or long-term care for patients born with this defect could be provided, as well as potential targets for intervention.
DSB Retreat Boasts Diverse Research, Spotlights Young Investigators
Each year the Department of Systems Biology community comes together for an off-campus retreat to discuss science, share ongoing research and to network. During this year's two-day program, held in Ellenville, NY, research presentations were primarily delivered by young investigators, shining a light on the ongoing work by our graduate students and post-docs.
Newly Tenured Systems Biology Faculty
Congratulations to Drs. Yufeng Shen, Nicholas Tatonetti, and Chaolin Zhang of the Department of Systems Biology, who have been awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor. Their new appointments are effective July 1, 2019.
Novel Method Identifies New Risk Genes for Developmental Disorders
The genetics of developmental disorders, such as congenital heart disease and autism, are highly complex. There are roughly 500 to 1,000 risk genes that can lead to each of these diseases, and to date, only about a few dozen have been identified. Focusing on haploinsufficiency, a key biological mechanism of genetic risk in developmental disorders, Dr. Yufeng Shen has developed a computational method that enables researchers to find new risk genes in these diseases.