Yuanzhao is interested in developing theories to predict collective behavior in complex systems. This ranges from the synchronous flashing of fireflies without a leader to neurons unleashing avalanches of firing activities while processing information. During his PhD, he focused on the theory of synchronization in coupled oscillator networks and showed how disorder can restore synchrony. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Yuanzhao aims to combine dynamic modeling and experimental data to study the benefits of cell heterogeneity on the circadian clock. He hopes this work could lead to new ideas to treat sleep disorders.