Fei Lu

Research Associate

Contact Information:

Cornell University

175 Biotechnology Building

Ithaca, NY 14853

Email: fl262@cornell.edu


Fei Lu, Ph.D. is a research associate at Cornell University. He mostly works as a computational biologist in Buckler lab. He has a biology background but with well-trained bioinformatic and programming skills. In the last few years, he has been working on bioinformatics for genotyping by sequencing (GBS) technology. He developed the non-reference SNP calling pipeline UNEAK and the pan-genome anchoring tool Pan-genome Atlas (PanA). Recently, he is leading the effort to build the maize pan-genome by de novo sequencing and assembling diverse maize inbred lines.

Why I Became a Scientist:

“Life is short, live your dream and wear your passion.”

I am originally from China. When I was in elementary school, there were a few popular science books for kids. One of them was called “One hundred thousand whys”, covering topics of physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, geography, and many other disciplines. It fed my curiosity so well and I really liked it! My parents used to ask me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I said “I want to be a scientist!” I guess this is the prequel of my scientific career.

In my high school years, I heard about genetic engineering, which felt like a magic to me. I was so excited about it that I went to college to study biology. I learned molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, etc. They are pretty cool. However, they were not most exciting things I learned in college. I was quite enthusiastic about computers. I got my first computer pretty late, which was in my junior year. But it immediately became my favorite toy. I took a class to learn QBasic. Then I taught myself many other programming languages (Visual Basic, Perl, C, and Java) from college to graduate school. I practiced programming skills a lot on my research and enjoyed making my work highly automated. Gradually, I become a computational biologist.

I love nature. I care about environmental conservation. But there is an existing conflict between increasing human population and environmental protection. There will be 9 billion people need to be fed by 2050. But can we feed human being more efficiently with less farm land and pesticide use? The booming technologies (e.g. DNA sequencing and automated phenotyping) exhibit unprecedented opportunities to genetic research. Agricultural scientists should be able to better design crops to respond increasing population and climate change. I am happy to be part of the team to benefit natural environment and human both, and make the world a better place.

Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2005-2010 Ph.D. Genetics and Comparative Genomics
College of Life Science, Northwest A&F University
2003-2005            M.S.                        Bioinformatics, Molecular Evolution & Population Genetics
1999-2003            B.S.                         Biotechnology

2010                       The Yihaijiali Prize for excellent student of Chinese Academy of Sciences
2009                       The Dean's Prize for excellent student of Chinese Academy of Sciences
2008                       The Graduate Scholarship of Chinese Academy of Sciences
2007                       The Excellent Student Prize of Chinese Academy of Sciences
2006                       The Graduate Scholarship of Chinese Academy of Sciences


Panzea was funded by the National Science Foundation, Plant Genome Research Project, award #1238014: “The Biology of Rare Alleles in Maize and Its Wild Relatives”; the research groups on this project were also supported by the USDA-ARS, their home institutions, and/or various other sources of funding.