Hairong Wei

Hairong Wei
"We are doing excellent job in describing how an individual gene functions, but not how life functions. Systems biology is to fill this gap."




  • Professor
  • Editor-in-Chief, Forestry Research (ForRes):
  • Affiliated Professor, Mathematical Sciences & Computer Science
  • PhD, Plant Molecular Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • MS, Computer Science, University of Chicago
  • MS, Forest Genetics, Beijing Forestry University
  • BS, Agricultural Sciences, Beijing Forestry University

Research interests and areas

My research is focused on the following areas:

(1) Identification of important and essential genes that govern various biological processes and complex traits using systems biology approaches. We achieve such a goal through a combined computational and experimental approach:  (a) Designing biological experiments to yield information-enriched gene expression data sets. (b) Develop algorithms and software pipelines for constructing collaborative gene networks, hub-centered gene regulatory networks (GRNs) and multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory networks (ML-hGRN). (c)  Experimental validation using ChIP-seq and DAP-seq technologies. 

(2)  Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying leaf development in polyploid poplar.

(3) Gene networks that control adventitious root development, and root development under low nitrogen.

(4) Genome sequencing and assembly.  

Areas of Expertise

  • Identification of genes regulating complex traits via systems biology approaches
  • Gene expression data analysis
  • Gene network construction and decomposition
  • Developing software for mining large-scale biological data
  • Genomics of wood formation