I'm an Associate Professor at Columbia University in the Department of Systems Biology and Department of Biomedical Informatics.
I received my B.Sc. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Peking University and Ph.D. in computational biology from Baylor College of Medicine. At Baylor, I led the analysis of the first human genome sequenced by next-generation technologies.
I currently directs National Institutes of Health–funded research programs that integrate genomics data to predict consequences of genetic variation using statistical and computational methods and to apply genomics and computational biology in genetic studies of human diseases. My lab developed CANOES (Backenroth et al., Nucleic Acids Res., 2014), a method to identify rare copy number variants from exome sequencing data. We discovered that epigenomic patterns under normal conditions are associated with risk genes of developmental disorders (Han et al., Nat. Commun., 2018). In addition, our research led to the discovery of a number of novel risk genes of common birth defects such as congenital heart disease (Homsy et al., Science, 2015) and congenital diaphragmatic hernia (Qi et al., PLoS Genetics, 2018).