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Congratulations to Dr. Shaojie Zhang

February 26, 2012

UCF CS Ph.D. student Cuncong Zhong, a biologist from Indiana University, Justen Andrews, and UCF Assistant Professor Shaojie Zhang received the best paper award for their paper “Discovering Non-coding RNA Elements in Drosophila 3′ Untranslated Regions” at the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences (ICCABS), held in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Dr. Zhang, the “paper is about trying to find non-coding RNA (ncRNA) elements in fly (Drosophila melanogaster) 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTRs). The ncRNA elements in the 3′-UTRs are known to participate in the genes’ post-transcriptional regulation. In this work, we proposed an improved RNA structural clustering pipeline that takes into account the length-dependent distribution of the structural similarity measure. We have identified many ncRNA clusters from fly’s 3′-UTRs. Among the clusters we have rediscovered the well-known histone ncRNA families. We also discovered an RNA family that contains genes that are preferentially expressed in male fly. We also found many supporting evidences from fly in-situ hybridization experiments that further reveal their characteristic `cup’ or `comet’ localization patterns in fly testis.”

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