Wei Li: Principal Investigator

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As a computational biologist with a background in computer science, Wei is always fascinated by the exciting opportunities in both areas of computation and biology. His past research has focused on developing analysis algorithms on functional genomics, especially for RNA-seq and CRISPR-Cas9 screens.

Wei received his postdoc training in Dr. X. Shirley Liu lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health. He obtained his Ph.D. in computer science at University of California, Riverside (mentor: Dr. Tao Jiang), followed by his bachelor and master degrees of computer science and technology at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.


Xiaolong Cheng

Xiaolong Cheng is a postdoctoral research fellow at Children’s National Medical Center. He is interested in developing novel computational methods and software tools for understanding biological data.

Xiaolong obtained his Ph.D. degree at the Ocean University of China and majored in Intelligent Information and Communication Systems. In the Ph.D. study phase, his research was focused on signal processing and machine learning.

Bicna Song

Bicna Song is a postdoctoral research fellow at Children’s National Medical Center. She is interested in the development of computational algorithms for analyzing large-scale sequencing data to identify predictive biomarker or drug target in cancer. Bicna obtained her Ph.D. degree of bioinformatics from the University of Science and Technology in South Korea. She focused on analyzing cancer genomics dataset for identifying and understanding the molecular drivers of differential response to targeted therapy.

Lumen Chao

Lumen Chao is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Children’s National Hospital. Her research interest focus on utilizing genome-wide CRISPR screen and single-cell RNA-seq technology to systematically identify critical genes and potential drug targets in brain tumors. Having been trained as an experimental biologist for years, she hopes to integrate both computational biology and experimental biology to comprehensively analyze the critical genes (oncogenes/suppressers) and regulatory networks in pediatric brain tumor.

Lumen received her first postdoc training at Michigan State University. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Genetics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China and bachelor’s degree in biology at Nanjing University, Nanjing, China. She focused on uncovering key transcription factors and regulatory networks of temperature response and immunity in plants.

Yuan Gao

Yuan Gao is a GWU master student in bioinformatics track. She is interested in CRISPR and RNASeq. For next phase, then, she would like to learn to analyze high throughput data based on computational tool and obtain the meaningful information to solve biological problem. Yuan got her bachelor’s degree of biological science at Liaoning University in China.

Ruocheng Shan

Ruocheng Shan is a GWU master student in computer science. He’s interest of study is the application of deep learning and neural networks. Ruocheng received his first master’s degree in electrical engineering in Florida Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in Chongqing University, Chongqing, China. Before joining GWU, Ruocheng has been a Natural Language Processing programmer for two years. He has experience in processing and modeling structured and unstructured data. His next phase of research would be applying machine learning and deep learning algorithms to biological data set.

Wei Shao

Wei Shao is a volunteer student in Dr. Li’s lab. His research interest is in how bioinformatics can be harnessed in facilitating the development of treatments of various diseases, such as brain cancer. Especially, Wei is excited about integrating computer science and biochemistry to develop new workflows of drug discovery. Wei is currently a master student in Bioinformatics track at GWU. Before attending this program, Wei once worked in several pharmaceutical companies, as an assistant organic chemist, to find new drugs of CNS and oncology. These working experiences help him find his career interest- the exploration of new treatments to make medical care accessible for everyone. In 2016, Wei achieved his bachelor degree of Applied Chemistry at Suzhou University of Science and Technology.

Abhinav Adhikari

Abhinav Adhikari is a freshman at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Public Health, while on the Pre-Medicine track. He is interested in bioinformatics and using novel materials for drug delivery systems. In high school, Abhinav focused much of his time on biomedical research, participating in an international collaboration to develop polymers for targeted & accurate drug delivery to cancer tissue. In the future, Abhinav aims to follow a path in medicine and surgery. He plans to work in a health organization to establish safer healthcare and public health measures.

Julia Kao-Sowa

Julia Kao-Sowa is a rising senior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and is interested in the intersection of biological and computational sciences. She has conducted her own research while at Thomas Jefferson in the biotech area exploring treatments for major depressive disorder and worked last summer in the research lab of Dr. Zhenyu Li at GWU creating a microfluidic trap for the capture and analysis of a single cell. Julia is planning on going on to study bioengineering in the fall of 2021 at a yet-to-be-determined university.