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About This Event


Announcing the Final Examination of Huiying Zhao for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in informatics

Dissertation: Protein function prediction by integrating sequence, structure and binding affinity information

Proteins are nano-machines that work inside every living organism. Functional disruption of one or several proteins is the cause for many diseases. However, the functions for most proteins are yet to be annotated because inexpensive sequencing techniques dramatically speed up discovery of new protein sequences (265 million and counting) and experimental examinations of every protein in all its possible functional categories are simply impractical. Thus, it is necessary to develop computational function-prediction tools that complement and guide experimental studies. In this study, we developed a series of predictors for highly accurate prediction of proteins with DNA-binding, RNA-binding and carbohydrate-binding capability. These predictors are a template-based technique that combines sequence and structural information with predicted binding affinity. Both sequence and structure-based approaches were developed. Results indicate the importance of binding affinity prediction for improving sensitivity and precision of function prediction. Application of these methods to the human genome and structure genome targets demonstrated its usefulness in annotating proteins of unknown functions and discovering moon-lighting proteins with DNA, RNA, or carbohydrate binding function. The predictors are available at

Education Career 

  • Major: Bioinformatics BS, North China University, 2001

  • Minor(s): Biostatistics 

Committee in Charge

  • Yunlong Liu, PhD, Chairman, 317-278-9222

  • Yaoqi Zhou, PhD, Advisor

  • Samy Meroueh‎, PhD

  • Sarath Chandra Janga, PhD

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Contact Information

Mary O'Neill

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