Team

Staff Profiles

Zizhen Yao, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Zizhen Yao joined the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2014 as part of a large interdisciplinary effort to categorize the diversity of neural cell types and the molecular mechanisms leading to cell type specificity. Prior to joining the Allen Institute for Brain Science, she worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center developing computational techniques for analyzing high throughput epigenetic and transcriptomic data to study myogenesis and neurogenesis during normal development and in disease.

Zizhen Yao received a Ph.D. in computer science from University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied in silico genome screening of functional noncoding RNAs.

Research

Research Interests

I am interested in genetic and epigenetic regulation of transcription factors for cell fate determination during brain development in comparison to development in other systems to understand general principles of cell differentiation.

Expertise

  • Informatics

Research Programs

  • MAT
  • in vitro Human Cell Types
  • Mouse Cell Types

Selected Publications View on PUBMED

Conserved cell types with divergent features in human versus mouse cortex

Nature
August 21, 2019

Hodge RD, Bakken TE, Miller JA, Smith KA, Barkan ER, Graybuck LT, Close JL, Long B, Johansen N, Penn O, Yao Z, Eggermont J, Höllt T, Levi BP, Shehata SI, Aevermann B, Beller A, Bertagnolli D, Brouner K, Casper T, Cobbs C, Dalley R, Dee N, Ding SL, Ellenbogen RG, Fong O, Garren E, Goldy J, Gwinn RP, Hirschstein D, Keene CD, Keshk M, Ko AL, Lathia K, Mahfouz A, Maltzer Z, McGraw M, Nguyen TN, Nyhus J, Ojemann JG, Oldre A, Parry S, Reynolds S, Rimorin C, Shapovalova NV, Somasundaram S, Szafer A, Thomsen ER, Tieu M, Quon G, Scheuermann RH, Yuste R, Sunkin SM, Lelieveldt B, Feng D, Ng L, Bernard A, Hawrylycz M, Phillips JW, Tasic B, Zeng H, Jones AR, Koch C, Lein ES

MYOD1 functions as a clock amplifier as well as a critical co-factor for downstream circadian gene expression in muscle

eLife
February 21, 2019

Hodge BA, Zhang X, Gutierrez-Monreal MA, Cao Y, Hammers DW, Yao Z, Wolff CA, Du P, Kemler D, Judge AR, Esser KA

Epigenetic landscape and AAV targeting of human neocortical cell classes

bioRxiv
February 19, 2019

Mich JK, Hess EE, Graybuck LT, Somasundaram S, Miller JA, Ding Y, Shapovalova NV, Fong O, Yao S, Mortrud M, Chong P, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Casper T, Kroll M, Hodge RD, Bakken TE, Yao Z, Dee N, Cetin A, Smith KA, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Gradinaru V, Sunkin SM, Zeng H, Lein ES, Tasic B, Ting JT, Levi BP

Transcriptomic evidence for dense peptidergic neuromodulation networks in mouse cortex

bioRxiv
January 13, 2019

Smith SJ, Sumbul U, Graybuck LT, Collman F, Sharmishtaa S, Gala R, Gliko O, Elabbady L, Miller J, Bakken T, Yao Z, Lein ES, Zeng H, Tasic B, Hawrylycz M

Multimodal Analysis of Cell Types in a Hypothalamic Node Controlling Social Behavior

Cell
October 17, 2019

Kim DW, Yao Z, Graybuck LT, Kim TK, Nguyen TN, Smith KA, Fong O, Yi L, Koulena N, Pierson N, Shah S, Lo L, Pool AH, Oka Y, Pachter L, Cai L, Tasic B, Zeng H, Anderson DJ

A Suite of Transgenic Driver and Reporter Mouse Lines with Enhanced Brain-Cell-Type Targeting and Functionality

Cell
July 12, 2018

Daigle TL, Madisen L, Hage TA, Valley MT, Knoblich U, Larsen RS, Takeno MM, Huang L, Gu H, Larsen R, Mills M, Bosma-Moody A, Siverts LA, Walker M, Graybuck LT, Yao Z, Fong O, Nguyen TN, Garren E, Lenz GH, Chavarha M, Pendergraft J, Harrington J, Hirokawa KE, Harris JA, Nicovich PR, McGraw MJ, Ollerenshaw DR, Smith KA, Baker CA, Ting JT, Sunkin SM, Lecoq J, Lin MZ2, Boyden ES, Murphy GJ, da Costa NM, Waters J, Li L, Tasic B, Zeng H

Single-nucleus and single-cell transcriptomes compared in matched cortical cell types

PLoS One
December 26, 2018

Bakken TE, Hodge RD, Miller JA, Yao Z, Nguyen TN, Aevermann B, Barkan E, Bertagnolli D, Casper T, Dee N, Garren E, Goldy J, Graybuck LT, Kroll M, Lasken RS, Lathia K, Parry S, Rimorin C, Scheuermann RH, Schork NJ, Shehata SI, Tieu M, Phillips JW, Bernard A, Smith KA, Zeng H, Lein ES, Tasic B

Distinct descending motor cortex pathways and their roles in movement

Nature
October 31, 2018

Economo MN, Viswanathan S, Tasic B, Bas E, Winnubst J, Menon V, Graybuck LT, Nguyen TN, Smith KA, Yao Z, Wang L, Gerfen CR, Chandrashekar J, Zeng H, Looger LL, Svoboda K

Shared and distinct transcriptomic cell types across neocortical areas

Nature
October 31, 2018

Tasic B, Yao Z, Graybuck LT, Smith KA, Nguyen TN, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Garren E, Economo MN, Viswanathan S, Penn O, Bakken T, Menon V, Miller J, Fong O, Hirokawa KE, Lathia K, Rimorin C, Tieu M, Larsen R, Casper T, Barkan E, Kroll M, Parry S, Shapovalova NV, Hirschstein D, Pendergraft J, Sullivan HA, Kim TK, Szafer A, Dee N, Groblewski P, Wickersham I, Cetin A, Harris JA, Levi BP, Sunkin SM, Madisen L, Daigle TL, Looger L, Bernard A, Phillips J, Lein E, Hawrylycz M, Svoboda K, Jones AR, Koch C, Zeng H

DUX4-induced gene expression is the major molecular signature in FSHD skeletal muscle

Human Molecular Genetics
October 15, 2014

Yao Z, Snider L, Balog J, Lemmers RJ, Van Der Maarel SM, Tawil R, Tapscott SJ

Comparison of endogenous and overexpressed MyoD shows enhanced binding of physiologically bound sites

Skeletal Muscle
April 8, 2013

Yao Z, Fong AP, Cao Y, Ruzzo WL, Gentleman RC, Tapscott SJ

Comparison of genome-wide binding of MyoD in normal human myogenic cells and rhabdomyosarcomas identifies regional and local suppression of promyogenic transcription factors

Molecular and Cellular Biology
February 2013

MacQuarrie KL, Yao Z, Fong AP, Diede SJ, Rudzinski ER, Hawkins DS, Tapscott SJ

Genetic and epigenetic determinants of neurogenesis and myogenesis

Developmental Cell
April 17, 2012

Fong AP, Yao Z, Zhong JW, Cao Y, Ruzzo WL, Gentleman RC, Tapscott SJ

DUX4 activates germline genes, retroelements, and immune mediators: implications for facioscapulohumeral dystrophy

Developmental Cell
January 17, 2012

Geng LN, Yao Z, Snider L, Fong AP, Cech JN, Young JM, van der Maarel SM, Ruzzo WL, Gentleman RC, Tawil R, Tapscott SJ