Liang Lab at Brock University
Bioinformatics and genomics research with a focus on mobile elements

Welcome to Liang Lab!

We are a research group at the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock Unviversity with a broader interest in studying the mechanisms of inter- and intra-species genetic diversity and their contribution to the diversity of biological traits, using an integrated approach combining the use of computational and experimental comparative and functional genomics technologies.

Among the many types of genetic variants, we are currently focusing on a class of genetic components called transposable elements, AKA mobile elements, which exist very abundantly and evolve actively in the genomes of most organisms, including humans. Our past work includes the development of several computational comparative genomics methodologies for the identification of retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms and retrotransposon-derived genome rearrangements, as well as the development of the database of Retrotransposon Insertion Polymorphisms in humans (dbRIP). In our current research, we are utilizing newly available individual human genome sequences generated by the next-generation sequencing technologies, such as 454 and Illumina, for more comprehensive surveys and documentation of genetic diversity derived from transposable elements. We are also extending our attention to the mechanisms and identification of other types of structural variations, such as copy number variations. We will then start to examine the impact of these genetic variations on gene function and phenotype, including human disease susceptibility and tasting variation.

While human and other primates are our main researh models, we also cover plants, insects, nematodes, and viruses. In working with collaborators inside and outside Brock University, we have perfromed the genome sequencing and analysis for the lavender plant, and a few bees.

Our research lab provides an ideal environment for students interested in the exciting frontiers of genomics and bioinformatics, which advance essentially on a daily-basis. Within this group, students have the opportunity to learn and apply computational skills, as well as advanced genomics and molecular research approaches. We welcome highly motivated and hard working graduate students either from a biological field with a certain level of computer programming skills or from a computer science background with a minor degree in biology. (Note: Students with interests only for bench research and those with no prior trainings or skills in computer programming will not be considered.)

Last modified: Thursday, 26-May-2022 21:41:33 EDT.