Research projects

The Ho Laboratory focuses on the use of bioinformatics and systems biology approaches to tackle longstanding problems in basic and translational medicine. A range of specific PhD projects can be developed within the broad theme of scalable big data analytics for healthcare translation. Here are some major research themes. Multiple projects are available under each theme.:

  • Scalable single cell data analytics. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) enables researchers to study heterogeneity among tens of thousands of individual cells and define cell types from a transcriptomic perspective. However, fast and reliable analysis of these large and noisy data requires new statistical and computational considerations. In this project we will develop scalable bioinformatics methods to analyze a range of scRNA-seq data to answer important biological questions.

  • Microbiome functional systems biology through metagenomic and multi-omic data analysis. Our laboratory is developing computational and statistical tools that can efficient process large metagenomic data, and integrate them with other omics or deep phenotyping data. Our goal is to understand how the microbiome found in specific location of the body, e.g., the gut, can affect a person's health.

  • Medical artificial intelligence, mobile health and wearable devices. Being able to track the changes of a person's physiological parameters in real time is now increasingly feasible due to the wide availability of consumer-grade smartphones and wearable devices (e.g., fitbit, AppleWatch, etc). Our group is developing new big data machine-learning algorithms extract, de-noise, analyze and correlate physical activity data and heart rate dynamics. Our long-term goal is to establish new non-invasive screening tools to monitor a person's health status.

For postdoc/students/RA who wants to join this laboratory: All projects require proficiency in at least one programming/scripting language (R, Perl, Python, Java, C++, C) Familiarity with the Unix operating system is desirable but not required. Individual project can be tailored to fit each student's personal interest and skill set. Most projects involve close interactions with local and international collaborators. This is a highly interdisciplinary laboratory. We welcome perspective group members from diverse background, such as medicine, biology, physics, computer science, mathematics, statistics, and engineering. Expression of interest, along with your CV, can be sent to Dr. Ho.