Dabao Zhang Granted CAREER Award

June,  2009


Professor Dabao Zhang, Assistant Professor in Statistics, has been granted a CAREER award for his proposal titled "A New Regularization Framework for Identifying Composite Signatures." The National Science Foundation offers its most prestigious awards through the CAREER program to recognize and support junior faculty?s development for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

Molecular profiling usually entails a collection of a massive amount of features (i.e., large p) for only a small number of biological individuals (i.e., small n), and therefore identifying the underlying sparse signatures presents a task of finding a very few needles in a haystack. Zhang has proposed a new regularization framework to address these challenges for effective dimension reduction and thus signature identification. The proposed work has an enormous promise for its use in early disease detection, assessment of prognosis, measurement of drug efficacy, and eventually, personalized medicine. The full potential of the new framework, however, lies in providing breakthrough solutions to structured noisy features.

Zhang joined Purdue in 2005 from the University of Rochester. He earned a PhD from the Department of Statistical Science at Cornell University in 2003. His research interests include multivariate statistics, high-dimensional variable selection, and extreme values. With the new regularization framework, his development of signature identification methodologies will be carried out with applications to gene expression profiling, expression quantitative trait loci mapping, genome-wide association study and comparative metabolomics.

Congratulations, Professor Dabao Zhang!