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New Faculty Spotlight: Xiang Zhu

21 January 2021
Xiang Zhu

The Department of Statistics in the Eberly College of Science is delighted to welcome Xiang Zhu as an assistant professor of statistics beginning in the fall 2020 semester. Dr. Zhu is a co-hire of the Huck Institutes for Life Sciences and will collaborate with Penn State scientists on interdisciplinary statistics research in genetics.

After receiving his PhD in Statistics from The University of Chicago in 2017, Zhu was a Stein Fellow at Stanford University for three years and a biostatistician (without compensation) in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

Zhu’s research focuses on building new statistical and computational methods to study the genetic basis of human complex traits and diseases. At Penn State he plans to develop novel statistical methodology and computational framework to extract useful information and produce novel insights from large-scale genetic association scans of complex traits and high-throughput functional measurements of the human genome.

As statistical tools remain as vital today as they were on day one of genetics, new datasets are constantly generated and mined through novel statistical and computational methods. “This opens the door for many young statisticians like myself to contribute to the improved understanding of human genetics,” says Zhu, reflecting on what motivates him about his field.

Zhu says he chose to join Penn State because it offered him the chance to collaborate closely with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and continue his interdisciplinary research. Penn State’s reputation as home to world-renowned experts in many scientific fields also played a great role in his choice. As a young academic, Zhu also considers this an opportunity of personal growth, “Penn State Statistics currently has multiple rapidly growing educational programs that train and nurture the next-generation statisticians and data scientists, which offers great opportunities to early-career educators like myself.”

Join us in wishing Zhu success in the Department of Statistics!