Yanmei Huang, PhD
Assistant Research Investigator and Senior Bioinformatics Scientist
Lecturer, Department of Oral Medicine, Infection, and Immunity, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Biomedical research has undergone an historical change, signified by a massive data explosion, in parallel to the “big data” era the rest of the world is entering. New technologies have enabled data collection at an unprecedented scale and in ever-refined granularity. In basic research, high throughput collection of genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomics data has become routine, and technological innovations continue to improve our ability to peek into biological systems. We can now assay gene expression at a single-cell level, and we can track activity of single molecules in real time. Similarly, in clinical research and practice, patient data collection is also undergoing a revolution, owing to new technologies such as next generation sequencing, as well as innovations that facilitate automation and improve the capability and accuracy in patient monitoring and patient self-reporting. This truly exciting time brings promise for new discoveries but also poses great challenges in data management and analysis.
Huang is interested in developing tools for data management, analysis and visualization to fully capitalize the strength of Forsyth as a leading oral research institute that seamlessly integrates basic and clinical research. She is a vital force in Forsyth’s effort to foster scientific rigor by enabling consistency, transparency and reproducibility in data management and analysis.
In addition to data science, Huang is interested in the microbiome and its relation to human health and physiology. She is closely involved in several exciting microbiome projects at Forsyth. Huang contributes to the effort of identifying and cultivating currently-uncultivable human oral microbial species. Led by Dr. Floyd Dewhirst, the project aims to obtain a complete understanding of the oral microbiome and provide valuable tools and resources for the research community. In addition, as a passionate Chronobiologist, Huang collaborates with Dr. Bruce Paster to study the influence of human circadian rhythms on the oral microbiome and vice versa. Such studies are expected to decipher relations between the two equally important players in human health, the circadian clock and microbiome, and provide guidelines for sampling schedules, treatment schedules and data analysis considerations in both research and clinical practice.
Areas of Research Expertise
- Oral microbiome
- Molecular Biology
Xiamen University, Xiamen, FJ, China, BS, 1995, Biochemistry
Rice University, Houston, TX, PhD, 2001, Genetics/Molecular Biology
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Postdoctoral, 2004, Genomics
Tufts University, Boston, MA, Postdoctoral, 2009, Neuroscience