Hongmei Zhang, PhD, MS

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

224 Robison Hall
Office Hours
By appointment only
Hongmei Zhang

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
  • Gaussian direct and undirected networks
  • Sampling plans
Analyzing High-Dimensional Gene Expression and DNA Methylation Data with R book by Hongmei Zhang

Selected Publications

  1. X Huang, H Zhang. Tests for differential Gaussian Bayesian networks based on quadratic inference functions. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis. 2021 Jul 1;159:107209.
  2. X Huang, H Zhang. Corrected score methods for estimating Bayesian networks with error‐prone nodes. Statistics in Medicine. 40: 2692– 2712. https://doi.org/10.1002/sim.8925, 2021.
  3. J Wang*, S Han, H Zhang*. A Nested Clustering Method to Detect and Cluster Transgenerational DNA Methylation Sites Via Beta Regressions in Modern Statistical Methods for Health Research, edited by Y Zhao, D Chen, Springer, 2021.
  4. Y Lee*, H Zhang*, Y Jiang, L Kadalayil, W Karmaus, SL Ewart, SH Arshad, JW Holloway. Epigenome-scale comparison of DNA methylation between blood leukocytes and bronchial epithelial cells. Epigenomics. 2021 Mar;13(07):485-98.
  5. J Wang*, H Zhang*, FI Rezwan, C Relton, SH Arshad, JW Holloway. Pre-adolescence DNA methylation is associated with BMI status change from pre- to post-adolescence. Clinical Epigenetics. 2021 Dec;13(1):1-1.
  6. L Han*, A Kaushal*, H Zhang*, …, S Wang, DNA Methylation at birth is associated with childhood serum Immunoglobulin E levels. Epigenetic Insights. Han and Kaushal equally contributed. 2021 Apr;14:25168657211008108.
  7. Y Mallisetty, N Mukherjee, Y Jiang, S Chen, S Ewart, SH Arshad, JW Holloway, H Zhang, W Karmaus. Epigenome-Wide Association of Infant Feeding and Changes in DNA Methylation from Birth to 10 Years. Nutrients. 2021 Jan;13(1):99.
  8. SK Sunny*, H Zhang*, F Mzayek, CL Relton, S Ring, AJ Henderson, S Ewart, JW Holloway, SH Arshad. Pre-adolescence DNA methylation is associated with lung function trajectories from pre-adolescence to adulthood. Clinical Epigenetics. 2021 Dec;13(1):1-8.
  9. H Zhang, X Huang, …, JW Holloway. Gaussian Bayesian network comparisons with graph ordering unknown. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csda.2020.107156, 2020.
  10. JL Min, G Hemani, E Hannon, KF Dekkers, J Castillo-Fernandez, R Luijk, …, H Zhang, ... & CL Relton. Genomic and phenomic insights from an atlas of genetic effects on DNA methylation. 2020. medRxiv (pre-print of Nature Genetics).
  11. Vehmeijer FO, Küpers LK, Sharp GC, Salas LA, Lent S, Jima DD, Tindula G, Reese S, Qi C, Gruzieva O, Page C, …, Zhang H, …, Felix JF. DNA methylation and body mass index from birth to adolescence: meta-analyses of epigenome-wide association studies. Genome medicine. 2020 Dec;12(1):1-5.
  12. R Patel*, F Solatikia*, H Zhang*, A Wolde, L Kadalayil, W Karmaus, S Ewart, R Arathimos, C Relton, S Ring, AJ Henderson, SH Arshad, JW Holloway.  Sex-specific associations of asthma acquisition with changes in DNA methylation during adolescence. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 2020 Nov 4.
  13. SH Arshad, C Hodgekiss, JW Holloway, …, H Zhang, G Roberts. Association of asthma and smoking with lung function impairment in adolescence and early adulthood: the Isle of Wight Birth Cohort Study. Eur Respir J. 2020;55(3).
  14. N Mukherjee, R Arathimos, S Chen, PK Rahimabad, L Han, H Zhang, J Holloway, CL Relton, AJ Henderson, S Arshad, S Ewart. DNA methylation at birth is associated with lung function development till age 26 years. European Respiratory Journal, 2020 Oct 14.
  15. SH Arshad, R Kurukulaaratchy, H Zhang, C Hodgekiss, W Karmaus, J Holloway, G Roberts. Assessing small airway function for early detection of lung function impairment. European Respiratory Journal, 2020 Jul 1;56(1).
  16. WB Sherwood, DM Kothalawala, L Kadalayil, S Ewart, H Zhang, W Karmaus, SH Arshad, J Holloway, F Rezwan. Epigenome-wide association study reveals duration of breastfeeding is associated with epigenetic differences in children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020 Jan;17(10):3569.
  17. A Rathod*, J Duan*, H Zhang*, JW Holloway, S Ewart, SH Arshad, W Karmaus. Interweaving between genetic and epigenetic studies on asthma. Epigenetic Insights, 2020 Jul;13:2516865720923395. A Rathod and J Duan equally contributed to the work.
  18. SK Sunny*, H Zhang*, FI Rezwan, CL Relton, AJ Henderson, SK Merid, E Melén, J Hallberg, SH Arshad, S Ewart, JW Holloway. Changes of DNA methylation are associated with changes in lung function during adolescence - an epigenome-wide study. Respiratory Research, 2020 Dec;21:1-4.
  19. SK Merid, …, H Zhang, …, E Melén. Epigenome-wide meta-analysis of blood DNA methylation in newborns and children identifies numerous loci related to gestational age. Genome Medicine, 2020 Dec;12(1):1-7.
  20. Y Shen, H Zhang, Y Jiang, F Mzayek, H Arshad, W Karmaus. Maternal Birth Weight and BMI Mediate the Transgenerational Effect of Grand-Maternal BMI on Grandchild’s Birth Weight. Obesity, 2020 Mar;28(3):647-54.
  21. L Li*, H Zhang*, JW Holloway, AJ Henderson, S Ewart, CL Relton, SH Arshad, W Karmaus. Pubertal onset with adulthood lung function mediated by height growth in adolescence. European Respiratory Journal Open Research. 2020 Oct 1;6(4). DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00535-2020.
  22. X Yu, J Duan*, Y Jiang, H Zhang. Distinctive trajectories of COVID-19 epidemic by age and gender: a retrospective modeling of the epidemic in South Korea. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.101. 2020

Research Funding (active)

  1. Does epigenetic methylation explain the gender-switch in adolescent asthma? (PI). Funding Source: NIAID/NIH (R01).
  2. Effect of Prenatal Compounds on Adult Lung Function via Neonatal DNA (Co-I). PI: Wilfried Karmaus. Funding Source: NHLBI/NIH (R01).
  3. Epigenome-wide association study of childhood asthma (Co-I). PIs: Hasan Arshad, Bjoern Peters, Pandurangan Vijayanand. Funding Source: NIAID/NIH (R01).
  4. Single exosome protein profiling with surface enhanced Raman scattering imaging (Co-I). PI: Xiaohua Huang. Funding Source: NCI/NIH (R15).

Software Packages

1. Programs and Examples for Joint Clustering (Download files)

  • Readme file
  • DataSimulations.R
  • DetermineMDIC.R
  • JointClusteringSimuDataSeSp.R

2. Programs and example data sets for variable selection in semi-parametric models (Download Files)

  • Readme file
  • VarSelection.Linear.standard.R
  • VarSelection.Linear.MH.R.
  • VarSelection.Probit.R
  • Linear. Example3.txt
  • Probit.Example3.txt

3.  Methods and programs for cell type heterogeneity assessment. Visit the website for codes, instructions, and example data sets. External website >