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Zhi Ming Xu

Post-doctoral Researcher

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My Background

I received a Bachelor's in Computer Science and Biology from McGill University (Canada), followed by a Master’s in Computational Biology from the University of Cambridge (UK). For my Master’s thesis, I joined the computational biology team at GSK (UK) working on genomics-driven drug discovery, followed by a research internship at the MRC Biostatistics Unit (UK) in the Burgess group working on pharmacogenomics. Subsequently, I joined the Fellay lab at EPFL (Switzerland) as a PhD student focusing on host-pathogen genomics. In September 2023, after obtaining a PhD in Computational and Quantitative Biology from EPFL, I joined the GHI group as a postdoctoral researcher.

My Research Interests

Trained as a computational biologist, I have a strong interest in leveraging large-scale -omics datasets and developing data-driven approaches to improve our understanding of complex human diseases. At the GHI group, my main focus is to develop computational methodologies aimed at deciphering the intricate biological mechanisms underlying the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Specifically, I will investigate the role of the non-coding portions of mRNA (including introns, 5' UTR and 3' UTR) in neural development and ALS pathology.

My Publications

1. S Scott, ZM Xu, F Kouzine, DJ Berard, C Shaheen, B Gravel, L Saunders, A Hofkirchner, C Leroux, J Laurin, D Levens, CJ Benham, SR Leslie. Visualizing structure-mediated interactions in supercoiled DNA molecules. Nucleic acids research (2018)

2. ZM Xu, S Burgess. Polygenic modelling of treatment effect heterogeneity. Genetic epidemiology (2020)

3. F Hodel, AY Chong, P Scepanovic, ZM Xu, O Naret, CW Thorball, S Rüeger, P Marques-Vidal, P Vollenweider, M Begemann, H Ehrenreich, N Brenner, N Bender, T Waterbroer, AJ Mentzer, AVS Hill, C Hammer, J Fellay. Human genomics of the humoral immune response against polyomaviruses. Virus evolution (2021)

4. ZM Xu, S Rüeger, M Zwyer, D Brites, H Hiza, M Reinhard, L Rutaihwa, S Borrell, F Isihaka, H Temba, T Maroa, R Naftari, J Hella, M Sasamalo, K Reither, D Portevin, S Gagneux, J Fellay. Using population-specific add-on polymorphisms to improve genotype imputation in underrepresented populations. PLoS Computational Biology (2022)

5. O Naret, Z Kutalik, F Hodel, ZM Xu, P Marques-Vidal, J Fellay. Improving polygenic prediction with genetically inferred ancestry. Human Genetics and Genomics Advances (2022)

6. F Hodel, ZM Xu, CW Thorball, R de La Harpe, P Letang-Mathier, N Brenner, J Butt, N Bender, T Waterboer, PM Marques-Vidal, P Vollenweider, J Vaucher, J Fellay. Associations of genetic and infectious risk factors with coronary heart disease. Elife (2023)

7. ZM Xu, O Naret, J Fellay. G2GSnake: A Snakemake workflow for host-pathogen genomic association studies.  Bioinformatics Advances (2023)

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