Hongmei Zhang

Hongmei Zhang, PhD, MS

Professor and Director, Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health, and Program Coordinator for Biostatistics

224 Robison Hall
Office Hours
By appointment only

About Hongmei Zhang

Dr. Hongmei Zhang is the Bruns Endowed Professor. Her research focus is on statistical methodology development in variable selection, joint clustering, and Bayesian networks with application to phenotypic data and genetic and epigenetic data. She is the recipient of several NIH research grants for her collaborative work in cancer and allergic disease studies.


  • PhD, Statistics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • MS, Statistics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • MS, Mathematics, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
  • MS, Electronic Engineering, Nanjing Research Institute of Technology, Nanjing, China

Research Interests

  • Variable selection
  • Clustering
  • Bayesian network
  • Sampling plans

Selected Publications

  1. S Han*, H Zhang, G Lockett, N Mukherjee, J Holloway, W Karmaus, Identifying heterogeneous transgenerational DNA Methylation Sites via Clustering in Beta Regression. Annals of Applied Statistics (accepted).
  2. W Terry*, H Zhang, A Maity, H Arshad, W Karmaus. Unified Variable Selection in Semi-parametric Models. Statistical Methods in Medical Research (accepted).
  3. H Zhang, X Huang, J Gan, W Karmaus, T Sabo-Attwood. A Two-component G-prior for Variable Selection. Bayesian Analysis. 2015. DOI. 10.1214/15-BA953
  4. TM Everson, G Lyons, H Zhang, N Soto-Ramírez, GA Lockett, VK Patil, SK Merid, C Sӧderhӓll, E Melén, JW Holloway, SH Arshad, and Wilfried Karmaus et al. DNA methylation loci associated with atopy and high serum IgE: a genome-wide application of recursive Random Forest feature selection. Genome medicine. Vol. 7: 1-16. 2015.
  5. S Tak, H Zhang, H Patel, S Hong. Computer activities for persons with dementia. The Gerontologist. Vol. 55 (Suppl), S40-S49. 2015.
  6. S Antwi, SE Steck, LJ Su, JR Hebert, H Zhang, ETH Fontham, G Smith, JT Bensen, JL Mohler, L Arab. Dietary, Supplement, and Adipose Tissue Tocopherols Levels in Relation to Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness Among African and European Americans: The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP). The Prostate. Vol. 75: 1419-1435. 2015.
  7. S Steck, L Arab, H Zhang, J Bensen, E Fontham, C Johnson, J Mohler, G Smith, J Su, D Trump, A Woloszynska-Read. Association between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D, ancestry and aggressive prostate cancer among African Americans and European Americans in PCaP. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125151. 2015.
  8. S Antwi, SE Steck, H Zhang, L Stumm, J Zhang, TG Hurley, JR Hebert. Plasma carotenoids and tocopherols in relation to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels among men with biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer, Cancer Epidemiology, Vol. 39: 752-762. 2015.
  9. BM Quraishi*, H Zhang, T Everson, M Ray, GA Lockett, JW Holloway, SR Tetali, SH Arshad, A Kaushal, FI Rezwan, W Karmaus.  Identifying CpG sites associated with eczema via random forest screening of epigenome-scale DNA methylation. Clinical epigenetics. Vol. 7: 1-11. 2015.
  10. S Wilson, K Burwell-Naney, C Jiang, H Zhang, A Samantapudi, R Murray, L Dalemarre, L Rice, E Williams. Assessment of sociodemographic and geographic disparities in cancer risk from air toxics in South Carolina, Environmental Research, Vol. 140: 562-568. 2015.

*denotes co-authors are students or post-doctoral fellow under Dr. Zhang's supervision.

Research Funding (active)

  1. Does epigenetic methylation explain the gender-switch in adolescent asthma? (PI) Funding source:  NIH/NIAID (R01) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  2. Phenomics: Joint clustering to associate changes in allergy and asthma over time (PI) Funding source: NIAID/NIH (R21)
  3. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of allergy in a multigenerational cohort (Co-I) PI: Wilfried Karmaus  Funding source: NIAID/NIH (R01)

Software Packages

1)  Programs and example data sets for variable selection in semi-parametric models:
a.  Readme file
b.  VarSelection.Linear.standard.R
c.  VarSelection.Linear.MH.R.
d.  VarSelection.Probit.R
e.  Linear. Example3.txt
f.  Probit.Example3.txt
Click here to download the files listed above.

2)  Methods and programs for cell type heterogeneity assessment. Click here to access the website for codes, instructions, and example data sets.