UBC Associate Program Director, Michael Smith Laboratories/Psychiatry, Principal Investigator of the NSERC-CREATE
Neuroscience • Functional genomics • Gene networks • Transcriptomics • Meta-analysis
My research lies at the intersection of bioinformatics and neuroscience. I have a particular interest in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, and how they affect the function of chemical synapses. A current focus of work in my lab involves the large-scale or meta-analysis of functional genomics data (e.g. microarrays). We use these approaches to study gene networks and their involvement in human neuropsychiatric diseases. To this end we collaborate closely with many laboratory-based neuroscience researchers from UBC and elsewhere. A newer area of interest is in the analysis of neuroanatomical data. Using text mining as well as existing data sources, we are engaged in the analysis of brain structure as it relates to gene expression and the brain “connectome”.
As computational biologists, we also generate methods, databases and tools. One of the tools we developed, “Gemma” is a system that permits researchers to compare and combine gene expression data sets they have generated with other data sets they select from hundreds of other data sets. Gemma will also facilitate the use of other types of data including and proteomics and genetics, and neuroscience-domain-specific data such as neuroanatomy and neuropharmacology. For more information on other resources please see the lab resources page.
In addition to running my lab, I am also the Associate Director of the UBC Graduate Program in Bioinformatics and the Scientific Director of the NeuroDevNet Neuroinformatics Core.