Newly Tenured Systems Biology Faculty

Newly Tenured Faculty
Awarded tenure this year in the Department of Systems Biology, left to right: Dr. Nicholas Tatonetti, Dr. Yufeng Shen, and Dr. Chaolin Zhang.

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. 

Yufeng Shen, PhD

Dr. Shen joined Columbia University Irving Medical Center in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in Systems Biology and Biomedical Informatics. He directs a research group focused on studies of human biology and diseases using genomic and computational approaches. They are developing new methods to interpret genomic variations by machine learning based on biological mechanisms, and using these methods in large-scale genome sequencing studies to identify new genetic causes of human diseases, such as autism, birth defects, and cancer. His group also works on modeling of clonal and transcriptional dynamics of immune cells to improve our understanding of human adaptive immune system under normal and clinical conditions. Dr. Shen serves as an Associate Director of the JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center, a member of the Program in Mathematical Genomics, and an adjunct member of Columbia Center for Translational Immunology. 

Nicholas Tatonetti, PhD

Dr. Tatonetti, whose primary appointment is in the Department of Bioinformatics, has an interdisciplinary appointment with both the Departments of Systems Biology and Medicine. Dr. Tatonetti’s lab specializes in advancing the application of data science in biology and health science. His group integrates their medical observations with systems and chemical biology models to not only explain drug effects, but also to gain further understanding of basic biology and human disease.

Chaolin Zhang, PhD

Dr. Zhang and his lab focus on the function of post-transcriptional gene regulation, in particular a level of molecular regulation called alternative RNA splicing, in the nervous system. Their work, both computational and experimental, aims to characterize the regulatory networks that specify neuronal cell types, and how these networks can be compromised in certain pathologic contexts, such as neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to joining the Department of Systems Biology in 2012, Dr. Zhang was a researcher at Rockefeller where he studied neuron-specific RNA regulatory networks by developing an integrative modeling approach that combines multiple types of high-throughput data, including transcriptome profiles and protein-RNA interaction maps.

The Department of Systems Biology (DSB) is an interdisciplinary department in Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Its faculty, post-docs and students aim to advance the integration of quantitative and experimental research methods in the biological and biomedical sciences and to understand the behavior of diverse complex biological networks. DSB is comprised of more than two dozen faculty members and operates onsite research infrastructure for state-of-the-art high-performance computing, next-generation sequencing, single-cell analysis and high-throughput screening.

-Melanie A. Farmer