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Integrative analyses of diverse biological data sources

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The technology expansion seen in the last decade for genomics research has permitted the generation of large-scale data sources pertaining to molecular biological assays, genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and other modern omics catalogs. New methods to analyze, integrate and visualize these

The technology expansion seen in the last decade for genomics research has permitted the generation of large-scale data sources pertaining to molecular biological assays, genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and other modern omics catalogs. New methods to analyze, integrate and visualize these data types are essential to unveil relevant disease mechanisms. Towards these objectives, this research focuses on data integration within two scenarios: (1) transcriptomic, proteomic and functional information and (2) real-time sensor-based measurements motivated by single-cell technology. To assess relationships between protein abundance, transcriptomic and functional data, a nonlinear model was explored at static and temporal levels. The successful integration of these heterogeneous data sources through the stochastic gradient boosted tree approach and its improved predictability are some highlights of this work. Through the development of an innovative validation subroutine based on a permutation approach and the use of external information (i.e., operons), lack of a priori knowledge for undetected proteins was overcome. The integrative methodologies allowed for the identification of undetected proteins for Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Shewanella oneidensis for further biological exploration in laboratories towards finding functional relationships. In an effort to better understand diseases such as cancer at different developmental stages, the Microscale Life Science Center headquartered at the Arizona State University is pursuing single-cell studies by developing novel technologies. This research arranged and applied a statistical framework that tackled the following challenges: random noise, heterogeneous dynamic systems with multiple states, and understanding cell behavior within and across different Barrett's esophageal epithelial cell lines using oxygen consumption curves. These curves were characterized with good empirical fit using nonlinear models with simple structures which allowed extraction of a large number of features. Application of a supervised classification model to these features and the integration of experimental factors allowed for identification of subtle patterns among different cell types visualized through multidimensional scaling. Motivated by the challenges of analyzing real-time measurements, we further explored a unique two-dimensional representation of multiple time series using a wavelet approach which showcased promising results towards less complex approximations. Also, the benefits of external information were explored to improve the image representation.

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Agent

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Date Created
2011

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Novel statistical models for complex data structures

Description

Rapid advance in sensor and information technology has resulted in both spatially and temporally data-rich environment, which creates a pressing need for us to develop novel statistical methods and the associated computational tools to extract intelligent knowledge and informative patterns

Rapid advance in sensor and information technology has resulted in both spatially and temporally data-rich environment, which creates a pressing need for us to develop novel statistical methods and the associated computational tools to extract intelligent knowledge and informative patterns from these massive datasets. The statistical challenges for addressing these massive datasets lay in their complex structures, such as high-dimensionality, hierarchy, multi-modality, heterogeneity and data uncertainty. Besides the statistical challenges, the associated computational approaches are also considered essential in achieving efficiency, effectiveness, as well as the numerical stability in practice. On the other hand, some recent developments in statistics and machine learning, such as sparse learning, transfer learning, and some traditional methodologies which still hold potential, such as multi-level models, all shed lights on addressing these complex datasets in a statistically powerful and computationally efficient way. In this dissertation, we identify four kinds of general complex datasets, including "high-dimensional datasets", "hierarchically-structured datasets", "multimodality datasets" and "data uncertainties", which are ubiquitous in many domains, such as biology, medicine, neuroscience, health care delivery, manufacturing, etc. We depict the development of novel statistical models to analyze complex datasets which fall under these four categories, and we show how these models can be applied to some real-world applications, such as Alzheimer's disease research, nursing care process, and manufacturing.

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Agent

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Date Created
2012

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Comparative genomics and novel bioinformatics methodology applied to the green anole reveal unique sex chromosome evolution

Description

In species with highly heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the degradation of one of the sex chromosomes can result in unequal gene expression between the sexes (e.g., between XX females and XY males) and between the sex chromosomes and the autosomes. Dosage

In species with highly heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the degradation of one of the sex chromosomes can result in unequal gene expression between the sexes (e.g., between XX females and XY males) and between the sex chromosomes and the autosomes. Dosage compensation is a process whereby genes on the sex chromosomes achieve equal gene expression which prevents deleterious side effects from having too much or too little expression of genes on sex chromsomes. The green anole is part of a group of species that recently underwent an adaptive radiation. The green anole has XX/XY sex determination, but the content of the X chromosome and its evolution have not been described. Given its status as a model species, better understanding the green anole genome could reveal insights into other species. Genomic analyses are crucial for a comprehensive picture of sex chromosome differentiation and dosage compensation, in addition to understanding speciation.

In order to address this, multiple comparative genomics and bioinformatics analyses were conducted to elucidate patterns of evolution in the green anole and across multiple anole species. Comparative genomics analyses were used to infer additional X-linked loci in the green anole, RNAseq data from male and female samples were anayzed to quantify patterns of sex-biased gene expression across the genome, and the extent of dosage compensation on the anole X chromosome was characterized, providing evidence that the sex chromosomes in the green anole are dosage compensated.

In addition, X-linked genes have a lower ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates than the autosomes when compared to other Anolis species, and pairwise rates of evolution in genes across the anole genome were analyzed. To conduct this analysis a new pipeline was created for filtering alignments and performing batch calculations for whole genome coding sequences. This pipeline has been made publicly available.

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Date Created
2016

Machine Learning Methods for Diagnosis, Prognosis and Prediction of Long-term Treatment Outcome of Major Depression

Description

Major Depression, clinically called Major Depressive Disorder, is a mood disorder that affects about one eighth of population in US and is projected to be the second leading cause of disability in the world by the

Major Depression, clinically called Major Depressive Disorder, is a mood disorder that affects about one eighth of population in US and is projected to be the second leading cause of disability in the world by the year 2020. Recent advances in biotechnology have enabled us to collect a great variety of data which could potentially offer us a deeper understanding of the disorder as well as advancing personalized medicine.

This dissertation focuses on developing methods for three different aspects of predictive analytics related to the disorder: automatic diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction of long-term treatment outcome. The data used for each task have their specific characteristics and demonstrate unique problems. Automatic diagnosis of melancholic depression is made on the basis of metabolic profiles and micro-array gene expression profiles where the presence of missing values and strong empirical correlation between the variables is not unusual. To deal with these problems, a method of generating a representative set of features is proposed. Prognosis is made on data collected from rating scales and questionnaires which consist mainly of categorical and ordinal variables and thus favor decision tree based predictive models. Decision tree models are known for the notorious problem of overfitting. A decision tree pruning method that overcomes the shortcomings of a greedy nature and reliance on heuristics inherent in traditional decision tree pruning approaches is proposed. The method is further extended to prune Gradient Boosting Decision Tree and tested on the task of prognosis of treatment outcome. Follow-up studies evaluating the long-term effect of the treatments on patients usually measure patients' depressive symptom severity monthly, resulting in the actual time of relapse upper bounded by the observed time of relapse. To resolve such uncertainty in response, a general loss function where the hypothesis could take different forms is proposed to predict the risk of relapse in situations where only an interval for time of relapse can be derived from the observed data.

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Date Created
2017

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Novel Semi-Supervised Learning Models to Balance Data Inclusivity and Usability in Healthcare Applications

Description

Semi-supervised learning (SSL) is sub-field of statistical machine learning that is useful for problems that involve having only a few labeled instances with predictor (X) and target (Y) information, and abundance of unlabeled instances that only have predictor (X) information.

Semi-supervised learning (SSL) is sub-field of statistical machine learning that is useful for problems that involve having only a few labeled instances with predictor (X) and target (Y) information, and abundance of unlabeled instances that only have predictor (X) information. SSL harnesses the target information available in the limited labeled data, as well as the information in the abundant unlabeled data to build strong predictive models. However, not all the included information is useful. For example, some features may correspond to noise and including them will hurt the predictive model performance. Additionally, some instances may not be as relevant to model building and their inclusion will increase training time and potentially hurt the model performance. The objective of this research is to develop novel SSL models to balance data inclusivity and usability. My dissertation research focuses on applications of SSL in healthcare, driven by problems in brain cancer radiomics, migraine imaging, and Parkinson’s Disease telemonitoring.

The first topic introduces an integration of machine learning (ML) and a mechanistic model (PI) to develop an SSL model applied to predicting cell density of glioblastoma brain cancer using multi-parametric medical images. The proposed ML-PI hybrid model integrates imaging information from unbiopsied regions of the brain as well as underlying biological knowledge from the mechanistic model to predict spatial tumor density in the brain.

The second topic develops a multi-modality imaging-based diagnostic decision support system (MMI-DDS). MMI-DDS consists of modality-wise principal components analysis to incorporate imaging features at different aggregation levels (e.g., voxel-wise, connectivity-based, etc.), a constrained particle swarm optimization (cPSO) feature selection algorithm, and a clinical utility engine that utilizes inverse operators on chosen principal components for white-box classification models.

The final topic develops a new SSL regression model with integrated feature and instance selection called s2SSL (with “s2” referring to selection in two different ways: feature and instance). s2SSL integrates cPSO feature selection and graph-based instance selection to simultaneously choose the optimal features and instances and build accurate models for continuous prediction. s2SSL was applied to smartphone-based telemonitoring of Parkinson’s Disease patients.

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Date Created
2019