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Dr. Yulin Dai joined McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston in January of 2020. He has interdisciplinary training and nearly 10 years of bioinformatics and statistical genetics research experience.

He has long-term interests in understanding the etiology underlying human genetic diseases and answering biology questions by utilizing computational approaches. During his doctoral program, he focused on the application of the evolution theory to shed light on the biological insights in population genetics/comparative genomics. In his postdoc training in Vanderbilt University Medical Center, He worked with pediatricians as a bioinformatician to analyze the NGS data generated from rare disease families in the nationwide Undiagnosed Disease Network (UDN). Later, he joined the Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine Laboratory (BSML) in UTHealth as a postdoc, he focused on developing methods to infer the causative variants/genes in complex diseases. He developed statistical methods for systematically detecting the disease-relevant tissue- and cell-type for complex diseases. He integrated multi-omics data and performed network-based approaches to prioritize putative disease variants/genes in multiple complex traits, including congenital disease, autoimmune disease, and psychiatric disorders. Ultimately, he wants to understand the genetic implications especially disease-associated genetic alterations on their relevant cell-types.

His recent research interests is to develop novel methodology and application tools to better understand human complex disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease. His work spans various field, including single-cell omics, embedding perturbation, neuroimaging, GWAS, TWAS, and polygenetic risk score, by employing and developing statistical and machine learning approaches. In addition, he has established extensive collaborations in the field of bioinformatics within the Texas Medical Center.

  • Tell us about your research center and/or what research/work you are currently working on?
    Bioinformatics and Precision Medicine, Center for precision health
  • What does the future of your research look like?
    Novel methodology and application tools to better understand human complex disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease in the field of single-cell omics, neuroimaging, genetics, and genomics.
  • What does the future of informatics look like?
    Provide high efficient and accurate access of informatics of interest.
  • What courses do you teach?
    "BMI 7320 - Topics for Artificial intelligence in Cancer Discovery: It is introductory level course for the CPRIT BIG-TCR training-program fellows to broaden and enhance their machine learning skillset in cancer research."
  • What major UTHealth Houston departments/institutes do you collaborate with?
    My collaborations are mainly within McWilliams SBMI and medical school.


  • PhD, Bioinformatics, 2015, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, P.R. China
  • BS, System Biology, 2010, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, P.R. China

Areas of Expertise

  • Tissue/Cell type specificity in complex disease: methods and applications
  • Multi-Omics data integration: methods and applications
  • Next-generation sequencing data analysis and tool development: NGS (epi) genomics data (bulk/single-cell level)

Staff Support

Leticia Flores | 713-500-3912