Rajeev K. Azad

Associate Professor
Biological Sciences and Mathematics

My research interests are in the area of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, particularly developing and applying mathematical and statistical tools to decipher structural and functional features in genomes and elucidate their relationships in the context of evolution. I have developed novel computational methodologies for gene discovery, alien gene identification and genome comparison. Many of these methods and algorithms are based on probabilistic models that provide a rigorous theoretical framework for studying nucleotide ordering patterns within genomes and have proved powerful tools for biological sequence analysis. I have extensive training and experiences in computational genomics and transcriptomics, including differential gene regulation and genome evolution.

Research Interests: 
  • Microbial genome plasticity: Evolution of bacterial virulence and drug resistance.
  • Differential gene regulation: Whole transcriptome profiling and analysis.
  • Assessment of statistical methods for genome sequence analysis.
  • Gene / Gene family discovery; Gene network analysis.
  • Sex chromosome evolution.
  • National Science Foundation. Ultrafast Omics Reveals Key Players in the Response of Plants to Abiotic Stress (Co-PI). $720,000. 5/1/14–4/30/18.
  • National Science Foundation. Biosynthesis, Regulation and Engineering of C-Lignin (Co-PI). $833,722. 8/1/15–7/31/18.
  • National Institutes of Health. Molecular Consequences of Glucose Diet and Altered Ceramide Species Impacting Oxygen Deprivation Responses. (PI). $445,343. 4/1/16–3/31/19.
Publications: 

PubMed Search

Holt, S.H., Darash–Yahana, M., Sohn, Y.S., Song, L., Karmi, O., Tamir, S., Michaeli, D., Paddock, M.L., Jennings, P.A., Onuchic, J.N., Azad, R.K., Pikarsky, E., Cabantchik, I.Z., Nechushtai, R., Mittler, R. (2016). Activation of apoptosis in NAF-1-deficient human epithelial breast cancer cells. Journal of Cell Science 129(1):155-165.

Veerappan, V., Jani, M., Kadel, K., Troiani, T., Gale, R., Mayes, T., Shulaev, E., Wen, J., Mysore, K.S., Azad, R.K., Dickstein, R. (2016). Rapid identification of causative insertions underlying Medicago truncatula Tnt1 mutants defective in symbiotic nitrogen fixation from a forward genetic screen by whole genome sequencing. BMC Genomics 17(1):141.

Pandey, R.S., Azad, R.K. (2016). Deciphering evolutionary strata on plant sex chromosomes and fungal mating-type chromosomes through compositional segmentation. Plant Molecular Biology 90: 359-373.

Suzuki, N., Basil, E., Hamilton, J.S., Inupakutika, M.A., Zandalinas, S.I., Tripathy, D., Luo, Y., Dion, E., Fukui, G., Kumazaki, A., Nakano, R., Rivero, R.M., Verbeck, G.F., Azad, R.K., Blumwald, E., Mittler, R. (2016). ABA is required for plant acclimation to a combination of salt and heat stress. PLOS ONE 11(1): e0147625.

Suzuki, N., Baxter, A., Devireddy, A., Miller, G., Shulaev, E., Azad, R.K., Shulaev, V., Mittler, R. (2015), Ultra-fast alterations in mRNA levels uncover multiple players in light stress acclimation in plants. Plant Journal 84(4):760-772.

Garcia, A.M., Ladage, M.L., Dumesnil, D.R., Zaman, K., Shulaev, V., Azad, R.K., Padilla, P.A. (2015). Glucose induces sensitivity to oxygen deprivation and modulates insulin/IGF-1 signaling and lipid biosynthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics 200(1):167-184.

Re, M., Azad, R.K. (2014). Generalization of entropy based divergence measures for symbolic sequence analysis. PLOS ONE 9(4): e93532.

Azad, R.K., Li, J. (2013). Interpreting genomic data via entropic dissection. Nucleic Acids Research 41: e23.

Pandey, R.S., Sayres, M.A.W., Azad, R.K. (2013). Detecting evolutionary strata on the human X chromosome in the absence of gametologous Y-linked sequences. Genome Biology and Evolution 5: 1863-1871.

Azad, R.K., Lawrence, J.G. (2011). Towards more robust methods of alien gene detection. Nucleic Acids Research 39: e56.