Habil Zare, PhD

Personal Statement:

Habil Zare, Ph.D. is a computational biologist. A current exemplar project in Dr. Zare’s lab is integrative gene network analysis, inspired by biological processes in a cell often requiring intricate coordination between multiple genes and proteins. The goal of the project is to infer useful biological and clinical information from large networks of thousands of genes. His studies have developed an integrative approach to analyze co-expression and DNA methylation patterns in a single model. Each node in this network represents a gene, and the connections (edges) are weighted based on the gene expression and DNA methylation data, i.e., the more associated two genes are, the more weight is assigned to the connection between them. This approach has led to identification of robust biomarkers that are useful in prognostication and diagnosis of several cancers. Studies also include investigating the applications of this approach in the study of dementia including: mechanisms of resilience to Alzheimer’s disease, prognostication, identification of subtypes of dementia based on molecular factors and variation in phenotypes, delineation of molecular differences and the common pathways, between subtypes, etc. Additional research covers ways to integrate other omics data into the network including micro RNA and genomic data. Lab collaborates with other scholars at the Biggs Institute through data analysis and study design.

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