Xue Zhong, PhD
Research Assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Genetic Medicine
My current research mainly focuses on integrating resources of electronic health records, biobanks and human genetics and genomics through innovative computational and statistical methods to understand how disease comorbidity and genetic predisposition act together to influence disease risk and disease progression. The human disease of my current focus spans common disease (e.g. Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, ADHD) and Mendelian disease (e.g. cystic fibrosis)
My earlier work centers on spatial models and network approaches, with applications in predicting long-time dynamics of infectious disease transmission and tumor subtyping.
Dr. Xue Zhong's early work focused on spatial models used to estimate plasmid transmission rates in surface-attached bacterial populations with spatial heterogeneity of cell-to-cell contact. Dr. Zhong also utilizes network-based approaches to address health-related problems such as pertussis epidemiology and tumor subtype classification. Her work on the development of a mathematical model that incorporates a detailed age-specific contact network has led to an explanation for the enigmatic changing pattern of pertussis incidence in Sweden in the vaccine era. Her recent work on tumor subtype classification revealed the effectiveness of using small panels of cancer genes for tumor subtyping in comparison to interrogating all genes for mutations in coding regions. Dr. Zhong has also collaborated on multiple projects including human microbiome, cancer, and genotyping. Her current research focus is leveraging biobank and electronic health records to investigate human disease comorbidity, disease progression, and the underlying genetic architecture via the use of computational and statistical methods.