Hongmei Zhang, PhD, MS

Professor of Biostatistics, EBE Division Director

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, IAAnalyzing High-Dimensional Gene Expression and DNA Methylation Data with R book by Hongmei Zhang
  • 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

Recent Publications

  1. SY Ngo, C Venter, WC Anderson III, K Picket, H Zhang, SH Arshad, RJ Kurukulaaratchy. Clinical Features and Later Prognosis of Replicable Early-Life Wheeze Clusters from 2 Birth Cohorts 12-years Apart. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 2023 Jul;34(7):e13999.
  2. L Kadalayil, …, H Zhang, … JW Holloway. Analysis of DNA methylation at birth and in childhood reveals changes associated with season of birth and latitude. Clinical Epigenetics. 2023 Dec;15(1):1-23.
  3. A Farhan, …, H Zhang, H Arshad. Prediction of Adult Asthma-risk in early childhood using novel adult asthma predictive risk scores. Allergy. 2023 Sep 3, https://doi.org/10.1111/all.15876.
  4. PK Rahimabad, AD Jones, H Zhang, …, Wilfried Karmaus. Polymorphisms in Glutathione S-Transferase (GST) Genes Modify the Effect of Maternal Smoking in Pregnancy on Offspring DNA Methylation. Genes. 2023 Aug 18;14(8):1644.
  5. A Budu-Aggrey, A Kilanowski, …, H Zhang, …, M Nelis. European and multi-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of atopic dermatitis highlights importance of systemic immune regulation. Nature Communications. 2023 Oct 4;14(1):6172.
  6. A Rathod*, R Melaram*, H Zhang*, …, JW Holloway. The association of DNA methylation at birth with adolescent asthma is mediated by atopy, Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 2023 Aug 28. Rathod and Melaram are equal contributors.
  7. J Hu, X Xu, J Li, Y Jiang, X Hong, KM Rexrode1, G Wang, FB Hu, H Zhang, WJ Karmaus, X Wang, L Liang. Sex Differences in the Intergenerational Link Between Maternal and Neonatal Whole Blood DNA Methylation: A Genome-wide Analysis in the Boston Birth Cohort. Clinical Epigenetics. 2023 Mar 25;15(1):51
  8. VD Janjanam, S Ewart, H Zhang, Y Jiang, H Arshad, AH Ziyab, W Karmaus. Offspring epigenetic markers at birth related to gestational BMI predict offspring BMI-trajectories from infancy to 26 years. Obesity Science & Practice. 2023, 1-11. DOI: 10.1002/osp4.660.
  9. KD Amrhein, M Taylor, RE Wilson Jr., CE Gallops, A Annamer, V Vinduska, EA Kwizera, H Zhang, Y Wang, TB Hoang, X Huang. Dual Imaging Single Vesicle Surface Protein Profiling and Early Cancer Detection. ACS, Applied Materials and Interfaces. 2023, 15(2): 2679-92. Wang, Hoang, and Huang equally contributed.
  10. A Ziyab, JW Holloway, Y Ali, H Zhang, W Karmaus. Eczema among adolescents in Kuwait: prevalence, severity, sleep disturbance, antihistamine use, and risk factors. World Allergy Organization Journal. 2023 Jan 1: 16(1): 100731.

More Publications

  • Hongmei Zhang. Xianzheng Huang. Hasan Arshad. "Comparing Dependent Undirected Gaussian Networks." Bayesian Anal. Advance Publication 1 - 26, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1214/22-BA1337.
  • Xichen Mou. Hongmei Zhang. S. Hasan Arshad. "Identifying intergenerational patterns of correlated methylation sites." Ann. Appl. Stat. 16 (1) 521 - 536, March 2022. https://doi.org/10.1214/21-AOAS1511.
  • Wheatley, LM, Holloway, JW, Svanes, C, et al. The role of epigenetics in multi-generational transmission of asthma: An NIAID workshop report-based narrative review. Clin Exp Allergy. 2022; 52: 1264- 1275. doi: 10.1111/cea.14223.
  • Kilanowski, A, Chen, J, Everson, T, et al. Methylation risk scores for childhood aeroallergen sensitization: Results from the LISA birth cohort. Allergy. 2022; 77: 2803– 2817. doi:10.1111/all.15315.
  • Olivia Solomon, Karen Huen, Paul Yousefi, Leanne K. Küpers, Juan R. González, Matthew Suderman, Sarah E. Reese, Christian M. Page, Olena Gruzieva, Peter Rzehak, Lu Gao, Kelly M. Bakulski, Alexei Novoloaca, Catherine Allard, Irene Pappa, Maria Llambrich, Marta Vives, Dereje D. Jima, Tuomas Kvist, Andrea Baccarelli, Cory White, Faisal I. Rezwan, Gemma C. Sharp, Gwen Tindula, Anna Bergström, Veit Grote, John F. Dou, Elena Isaevska, Maria C. Magnus, Eva Corpeleijn, Patrice Perron, Vincent W.V. Jaddoe, Ellen A. Nohr, Lea Maitre, Maria Foraster, Cathrine Hoyo, Siri E. Håberg, Jari Lahti, Dawn L. DeMeo, Hongmei Zhang, Wilfried Karmaus, Inger Kull, Berthold Koletzko, Jason I. Feinberg, Luigi Gagliardi, Luigi Bouchard, Cecilia Høst Ramlau-Hansen, Henning Tiemeier, Gillian Santorelli, Rachel L. Maguire, Darina Czamara, Augusto A. Litonjua, Jean-Paul Langhendries, Michelle Plusquin, Johanna Lepeule, Elisabeth B. Binder, Elvira Verduci, Terence Dwyer, Ángel Carracedo, Natalia Ferre, Brenda Eskenazi, Manolis Kogevinas, Tim S. Nawrot, Monica C. Munthe-Kaas, Zdenko Herceg, Caroline Relton, Erik Melén, Dariusz Gruszfeld, Carrie Breton, M.D. Fallin, Akram Ghantous, Wenche Nystad, Barbara Heude, Harold Snieder, Marie-France Hivert, Janine F. Felix, Thorkild I.A. Sørensen, Mariona Bustamante, Susan K. Murphy, Katri Raikkönen, Emily Oken, John W. Holloway, Syed Hasan Arshad, Stephanie J. London, Nina Holland. Meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies in newborns and children show widespread sex differences in blood DNA methylation. Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research. Volume 789, 2022;108415. ISSN 1383-5742. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mrrev.2022.108415.
  • Harmon BE, Leak CL, Zhang H, West NT, Nigg CR. Examination of Associations between Physical Activity and Eating Identities among College-aged Adults Living in Hawai'i. Hawaii J Health Soc Welf. 2022 Jun;81(6):162-168. PMID: 35673366; PMCID: PMC9168934.
  • Rathod, R., Zhang, H., Karmaus, W. et al. Association of childhood BMI trajectory with post-adolescent and adult lung function is mediated by pre-adolescent DNA methylation. Respir Res 23, 194 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12931-022-02089-4.
  • Rathod A, Zhang H, Arshad SH, Ewart S, Relton CL, Karmaus W, Holloway JW. DNA Methylation and Asthma Acquisition during Adolescence and Post-Adolescence, an Epigenome-Wide Longitudinal Study. J Pers Med. 2022 Feb 2;12(2):202. doi: 10.3390/jpm12020202. PMID: 35207690; PMCID: PMC8877984.
  • Li, L, Holloway, JW, Ewart, S, et al. Newborn DNA methylation and asthma acquisition across adolescence and early adulthood. Clin Exp Allergy. 2022; 52: 658– 669. doi:10.1111/cea.14091.
  • Liang Li, Hongmei Zhang, John W. Holloway, Susan Ewart, Caroline L. Relton, S. Hasan Arshad, Wilfried Karmaus. Does DNA methylation mediate the association of age at puberty with forced vital capacity or forced expiratory volume in 1 s?. ERJ Open Research Jan 2022, 8 (1) 00476-2021; DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00476-2021.
  • Ziyab, AH, Mukherjee, N, Zhang, H, Arshad, SH, Karmaus, W. Sex-specific developmental trajectories of eczema from infancy to age 26 years: A birth cohort study. Clin Exp Allergy. 2022; 52: 416– 425. doi:10.1111/cea.14068.
  • X Huang, H Zhang. Tests for differential Gaussian Bayesian networks based on quadratic inference functions. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis. 2021 Jul 1;159:107209.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Clusters of Epigenetic Networks at Birth and Asthma Incidence in Children (PI)
    Funding Source: NIH/NIAID
  2. Surface exosome integrin profiling to predict organotropic metastasis of breast cancer (Co-I). PI: Huang, Hoang
    Funding Source: NIH/NCI
  3. Public Health Informatics, Data, Equity, Analytics, and Systems (PH-IDEAS) approach to strengthen Shelby County Health Department Infrastructure, Workforce, and Data Systems (Co-I). PI: Taylor, Joshi
    Funding Source: CDC

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 >