Scholarship: Full benefits
Degree: BS, MS, PhD
Nationality: International Students
Application deadlines: Open
We are devoted to leveraging machine learning and big biomedical data to decode complex human diseases. We develop machine learning algorithms (e.g., deep learning and probabilistic graphical models) which integrate large-scale genetic data (genotyping and whole exome/genome sequencing) with heterogeneous multiomic (e.g., epigenetics, single-cell/spatial omics) and clinical (e.g., electronic health records, imaging) data to elucidate disease mechanisms, and to further advance novel therapeutics and personalized medicine. We are making efforts towards a modern paradigm of biomedical research, where a structured model is learned from the data to inform experiment-verifiable hypothesis as well as to facilitate personalized prediction. We have been working closely with experimental biologists and clinicians to bring our model predictions down to earth. We have access to multiple large-scale biobanks (e.g., UK Biobank, TOPMed, AllofUs, Million Veteran Program, Project MinE) and single-cell/spatial datasets (some of them are fresh and unpublished), which serve the foundation of our future research. Long-term collaborations with over 30 top scientists in different fields all over the world have been established, shaping a vibrant research network for the lab.
About the PI
Dr. Sai Zhang is a tenure-track Assistant Professor (starting in January 2023) with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiative in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Florida. He is also affiliated with the Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research. Sai did his PhD in Computer Science at Tsinghua University mentored by Dr. Jianyang Zeng, and then joined the Department of Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar under the supervision of Dr. Michael Snyder. He was appointed as an Instructor at Stanford Genetics after that. Sai has two US patents and published multiple first-author papers in top journals (e.g.,Cell, Neuron, and Cell Systems) and top computational biology conferences (e.g., RECOMB and ISMB). His work has been featured by many media outlets, such as Nature, NIH, Stanford Medicine, Science Daily, and GenomeWeb.
About the University of Florida
The University of Florida (UF) is a public land-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida. It is a flagship university of Florida State, traces its origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its Gainesville campus since September 1906. For 2022, U.S. News & World Report ranked UF as the 5th (tied) best public university and 28th (tied) best university in the United States. UF is the member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UF PHHP is ranked #9 in NIH research funding among schools of public health at public universities, and it has 8 graduate programs ranked in the Top 20 among AAU public universities. UF Medicine is ranked #16 for research among public medical schools by the U.S. News & World Report. With $70 million investment, UF recently launched the university-wide AI Initiative to advance and apply Artificial Intelligence across multiple disciplines as a fundamental pillar of our academic pursuits. In doing so, UF seeks to be the leading force in AI-powered research that will revolutionize the way we work, play and live our lives.
Gainesville is one of the best places to live in Florida. It has a current population of 132,000 people and is located in Alachua County in northern Florida. Only about one hour to Jacksonville and two hours to Orlando or Tampa, Gainesville is in the perfect location. Its residents get to enjoy a mixture of urban and suburban life in a quiet and welcoming atmosphere with many friendly faces. Gainesville is an affordable place to live – 8.7% cheaper than the national average. It also has amazing warm weather throughout the whole year and is in a low-risk hurricane zone due to its location in the central part of the state.
- Machine learning, computational biology, single-cell/spatial genomics, and statistical genetics
- All candidates should have a background in computational sciences, such as computer science, computational biology/bioinformatics, and statistics. Strong programming and mathematical skills, specific interest in solving biomedical problems, and excellent communication skills in English are required. Candidates with demonstrated research experiences in related fields are preferred, especially for postdoc candidates. Candidates with a biomedical background but strong motivation in pursuing computational research are equally welcome to apply.
- Please send your up-to-date CV, transcripts, one-page research statement if applicable, and the contact information of three references to Dr. Sai Zhang ([email protected])