Andrey Rzhetsky Lab

Andrey Rzhetsky

Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology
The University of Chicago
900 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL

Phone: (773) 834-7367 Fax: (773) 834-2877

About the Lab

Our group is engaged in a series of computational projects that involve mathematical modeling and analysis of disparate data sets, such as electronic medical records, scientific texts, and high-throughput experimental data.  The overarching goal of such analyses is formulating and testing hypotheses regarding interplay of genetic and environmental mechanisms of human disease.  Formulation and testing of models requires dynamic collaboration with a range of experts in disease phenotype, genetics, statistical modeling, epidemiology, and sociology of science.  We also closely collaborate with groups producing high-throughput data on data interrogation and experimental validation of computational predictions.

We are currently developing approaches for large-scale modeling and analyses of a time-series of phenotypic and environmental records, as represented in patient record databases.  In parallel, we are developing models to analyze gene association and genetic linkage data in a molecular network context, explicitly allowing for multigenic models.  We will implement joint probabilistic models of groups of disease phenotypes, accounting for their dependence on genetic variation, the proximity of genes in molecular networks, and environmental events.  Our aim is to integrate these multi-level models to jointly analyze genomic, clinical and textual data, so as to obtain insights into genetic and environmental factors that, in combination, determine disease phenotypes.

Selected publications

Blair DR, et al. Quantifying the Impact and Extent of Undocumented Biomedical Synonymy
PLoS Comput Biol. 2014 Sep 25. journal.pcbi.1003799. eCollection 2014 Sep.
PMID: 25255227

Liu CC, et al. DiseaseConnect: a comprehensive web server for mechanism-based disease-disease connections
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jul. Epub 2014 Jun 3.
PMID: 24895436

Rzhetsky A, et al. Environmental and state-level regulatory factors affect the incidence of autism and intellectual disability
PLoS Comput Biol. 2014 Mar 13. journal.pcbi.1003518. eCollection 2014 Mar.
PMID: 24625521

Lab Members


David Blair

David Blair

Alumni, PhD Student,
Previous Affiliation: MSTP Program, Andrey Rzhetsky Laboratory
Current Affiliation: M.D. Program
(773) 702-6799
Anna Divoli

Anna Divoli

Alumni, Postdoc,
Previous Affiliation: Postdoctoral Scholar for Dr. Andrey Rzhetsky's Lab
Current Affiliation: Head of Research & Development at Pingar Research
Gengjie Jia

Gengjie Jia

Medicine and Human Genetics, Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, Computation Institute
Postdoctoral Scholar
Rzhetsky Lab
+1 312-459-8103

Kevin Loeser

Alumni, Student,
Summer Intern: Andrey Rzhetsky Lab

Ilya Mayzus

Andrey Rzhetsky Laboratory
(773) 702-6799
Rachel D. Melamed

Rachel D. Melamed

Rzhetsky Lab
Ryan Mork

Ryan Mork

Graduate Student- 3rd Year
Rzhetsky Lab
Andrey Rzhetsky

Andrey Rzhetsky

IGSB, Core Member, Fellow,
Professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Genetic Medicine
Senior Fellow, Computation Institute
Principal Investigator and Director, Conte Center for Neuropsychiatric Genomics
(773) 834-7367

Kanix Wang

PhD Student,
Andrey Rzhetsky Laboratory
Lixia Yao

Lixia Yao

Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina
Previous Affiliation at IGSB: PhD student in Dr. Andrey Rzhetksy’s lab
Shi Yu

Shi Yu

Alumni, Postdoc,
Previous Affiliation: Andrey Rzhetsky Lab
Current Affiliation: IBM
(773) 702-6799


Massive data analysis shows what drives the spread of flu in the US

Models built with data from health claims, weather, geography and Twitter predict how the flu spreads from the south and southeastern coast

Andrey Rzhetsky Among UChicago Faculty to Receive Distinguished Service Professorship

A total of 19 faculty members, including IGSB Faculty member Andrey Rzhetsky, recently have received named professorships or have been named distinguished service professors. 

A big data look at improving scientific research: A Q&A with Andrey Rzhetsky

Of all the possible experiments available in biomedical research, only a small subset are ever tackled by scientists. This is in part due to institutional and cultural pressures that lead researchers to avoid risk-taking and choose inefficient research strategies, according to a new study based on a computational analysis of millions of patents and research articles. Despite increased opportunities for groundbreaking experiments, most scientists choose conservative research strategies to reduce personal risk, which makes collective discovery slower and more expensive, conclude Andrey Rzhetsky, PhD, professor of medicine and human genetics and director of the Conte Center for Computational Neuropsychiatric Genomics, and his colleagues.

Health ROI as a measure of misalignment of biomedical needs and resources

In a recently published letter to Nature Biotechnology, Lixia Yao, IGSB core faculty Andrey Rzhetsky and colleagues dissect the decisions made in funding choices. His team compares these choices by funding agencies to trades in a financial market. In this communication, they expand on the idea that there exists an imbalance between health needs and biomedical research investment.

New data-mining effort launched to study mental disorders

The Sylvio O. Conte Center, a multi-institutional effort based at the University of Chicago, will combine the statistical power of pre-existing genetics, pharmacogenomics, text-mining and clinical record databases to confront diseases that have so far frustrated researchers.Press Release

Research Papers