Qian awarded USDA grant

QianDr. Xiaoning Qian, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, was recently awarded a grant from the USDA entitled, "Molecular and biochemical mechanisms of oxidized lipids signaling in regulating drought tolerance in maize."

In the project, Qian, who also is a member of the newly formed Center for Bioinformatics and Genomic Systems Engineering (CBGSE), will collaborate with Dr. Michael V. Kolomiets (PI) from Texas A&M AgriLife Research to help develop analysis pipelines for next generation sequencing data to understand the changes in plants under biological (biotic) and non-biological (abiotic) stresses, for example drought and insects.

Focusing on a set of lipoxygenase genes, responsible for oxylipin biosynthesis, he is developing computational algorithms to arrive at early signal transduction network models facilitating the understanding of the molecular mechanisms employed by the plant to activate drought stress responses and the induced systemic resistance (ISR).

To forge collaborations between the colleges of engineering and agriculture & life sciences, earlier this year, AgriLife Research awarded a number of seed grants centered around the theme of plant water use. Kolomiets' and Qian's grant from USDA is the first external grant that has resulted from this seed funding. The related work has also been featured in ScienceDaily.

Qian received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, China, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Yale University in 2005. Before joining Texas A&M, he spent four years as an assistant professor at the University of South Florida.

His current research interests include computational network biology, genomic signal processing and biomedical image analysis. Some of his research efforts at Texas A&M have been recently funded by an NSF EAGER grant and a grant from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He recently co-organized the International Workshop on Computational Network Biology: Modeling, Analysis, and Control (CNB-MAC). He has been serving on the editorial boards for several journals and in the organizing and technical program committees for several international conferences.