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The Centre of Bioinformatics, Tianjin University (TUBIC) was established in 1998. Founded by Dr. Chun-Ting Zhang, the Centre is composed of a number of faculty members and graduate students, both for Master and Doctorate Degrees. TUBIC is served as a window to reveal the achievements of Bioinformatics studies in Tianjin University, China.

Chun-Ting Zhang
C.-T. Zhang is a bioinformatician. He was born in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Zhang graduated from the Department of Physics, Fudan University in 1961 and finished his postgraduate study in the same university in 1965. Now he is a full professor of Tianjin university.

In his early years Zhang was engaged in the study of theoretical physics. Later, he shifted to the area of theoretical molecular biology. His special interest is of Bioinformatics. He established the Z curve theory of DNA sequences and developed a geometrical approach to analyze DNA sequences. The Z curve theory and related methodology have been applied to many important areas, such as computer-aided gene identification in genomes, molecular evolution and studies of long-range correlation of DNA sequences etc. He also proposed a number of new algorithms to predict the structural classes of globular proteins, increasing the prediction accuracy for given database. This work has promoted the development of structural class prediction study worldwide.

He was elected to be a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1995, and a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in 2001. Zhang was awarded the Prize for Science and Technology Progress, issued by the National Education Committee in 1996 (First Class), the Prize of National Natural Science in 1997 (Second Class) and Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Science and Technology Progress in 2001.

Feng Gao
Prof. Gao is engaged in the bioinformatics research, which mainly focuses on microbial genomics and functional genomics. As the first author or corresponding author, he has published 56 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, including Nucleic acids research, PNAS, Briefings in Bioinformatics, and Bioinformatics, and two book chapters in Methods in Molecular Biology. He has developed web-based systems, such as Ori-Finder used for finding oriCs in bacterial and archaeal genomes with high accuracy, and GC-Profile used for visualizing and analyzing the variation of GC content in genomic sequences. He also constructed online databases, such as DoriC, a database of oriC regions in both bacterial and archaeal genomes, DeOri, a database of eukaryotic DNA replication origins and DEG 15, an update of the Database of Essential Genes. Now, some of them are very popular with scientists in related fields. For example, Ori-Finder, which is cited over 200 times according to Web of Science, has been applied to annotate oriCs in hundreds of newly sequenced prokaryotic genomes including that published in Nature (Graf et al., Nature, 2021), and has also been recommended as software tool to identify replichores (Wannier et al., Nature Reviews Methods Primers, 2021). Currently, the predicted replication origins in dozens of bacteria and archaea have been confirmed by experiments, and our predictions have also been supported or used by the studies published in Science (Korem et al., Science, 2015) and Nature (Richardson et al., Nature, 2016).

Prof. Gao obtained the Ph.D degree from Tianjin University in 2007 under the supervision of Prof. Chun-Ting Zhang, a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). Then, he worked at Tianjin University as the principal investigator of the Center of Bioinformatics, Tianjin University (TUBIC) (http://tubic.tju.edu.cn/ or http://tubic.org/). In the past years, he has taken charge of five research projects funded by NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China) or MOST (Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China) in succession. He once received China Youth Science and Technology Innovation Award (2006), the nomination award for the National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of China (2009) and was selected into the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in Universities (Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, 2012).

Currently, Prof. Gao is a Faculty Member of Faculty Opinions (formerly F1000Prime) for Genomics & Genetics, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Microbiology (2021 Outstanding Editor Award), Frontiers in Genetics and Interdisciplinary Sciences: Computational Life Sciences, the editorial board member of Briefings in Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics, Scientific Reports (Editorial Board Highlights), PLoS ONE. He has served as Guest Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology by organizing the research topic 'DNA Replication Origins in Microbial Genomes' and its Volume 2. Gratifyingly, the papers published in this topic series were highly accessed, and the total views are 170,000 now. He also hosted a themed issue 'Recent developments of software and database in microbial genomics and functional genomics' for Briefings in Bioinformatics. The thirteen articles in this themed issue have been well-received by a wide international audience, and have been cited over 2,300 times according to Web of Science. Currently, he hosts a special issue on 'Artificial Intelligence in Omics' for Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics as Guest Editor.


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