Chongzhi Zang Lab  

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Chongzhi Zang, PhD

Office: West Complex, Room 6131C
Phone: 434-243-5397
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Dr. Chongzhi Zang is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia. He holds faculty appointments in Department of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the UVA School of Medicine. He is also a faculty member of the UVA Cancer Center and the Data Science Institute. Chongzhi received his BS in physics from Peking University and PhD in physics from the George Washington University. He did his undergraduate research in high-field laser physics with Jie Zhang at the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his PhD research in computational biophysics with Weiqun Peng and Keji Zhao at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining UVA, he completed his postdoctoral training with Xiaole Shirley Liu at Harvard University's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Chongzhi is a computational biologist with expertise in cancer epigenomics. His research focuses on algorithm development for high-throughput genomic data analytics and integrative modeling of gene regulatory networks in mammalian cell systems.

Postdoctoral Associates

Zhenjia Wang, PhD

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131
Phone: 434-297-5236

Zhenjia joined the lab as a postdoctoral research associate in January 2017. She received her PhD in bioinformatics from School of Mathematics, Shandong University in China. She is working on integration of publicly available transcription factor ChIP-seq data for studying functional gene regulation, and integration of RNA-seq data with ChIP-seq data for studying mechanisms of fusion transcripts in cancer.

Sheng'en Shawn Hu, PhD

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131

Dr. Sheng'en Shawn Hu is a postdoctoral research associate starting November 2017. Before joining UVA, he completed his PhD training in bioinformatics from School of Life Science and Technology, Tongji University in China, and was a visiting student at Harvard University. He is working on developing computatinoal methodology of integrating high-throughput chromatin accessibility data for studying functional gene regulation.

Graduate Students

Wuwei Tan

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131

Wuwei joined the lab as a research assistant in May 2017. He completed his undergraduate studies majored in statistics at the University of Science and Technology of China, and is currently pursuing his MS degree in statistics at the University of Virginia. He is working on chromatin accessibility profiling ATAC-seq data analysis and data bias reduction.

Yiren Wang

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131

Yiren joined the lab in July 2017 as a short-term research assistant, after obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Astronomy from Peking University. She is working on improving computational methods and developing software tools for ChIP-seq data analysis and data integration for gene regulation studies.

Yushan Feng


Yushan Feng holds Bachelor degrees in both Statistics and Computer Science. He is spending his fourth year at UVA in the M.S. Statistics program. Interested in applying statistical skills in biomedical research, he looks forward to learning more about bioinformatics. He is also working to learning more about computational methods and how they are applied in research. In his spare time, he enjoys music, football, movies, literature, politics, and all the other things that make life fascinating.

Yifan Zhang


Yifan will join the lab in Fall 2018 as a Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering at UVA. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Yifan is a violinist in training. He also enjoys playing tennis and aerial photography with quadcopter drones.

Undergraduate Students

Yayi Feng


Yayi Feng is a Second Year student in the University of Virginia. Her intended major is Biology, potentially minoring in Computer Science and Economics. She enjoys volunteering and helping others, and is currently a volunteer in the Madison House Medical Service Program and the CASH program. As a research volunteer in the lab, Yayi is interested in learning more about how computational methods can be used to study human genomics and the effect of these findings on the medical field.

Javier Valcarcel


Javier is a Third Year Statistics major interested in the intersection of statistical computing, medicine and health. He is a runner, Raspberry Pi tinkerer, proud owner of a flip phone and happily married to Meghan.

John Zhang


John Zhang is a Second Year Biology / Computer science major at UVA. His hometown however, is Blacksburg Virginia, home of Virginia Tech. His main interests in school are science, especially biology and chemistry. Outside of school, John is involved in different sports and likes to volunteer and tutor students through Madison House. As a lab researcher John is very excited to help analyze data, especially since he sees himself working either as a physician or somewhere else in the public health sector after graduating.

Stephany Perez-Rojas


Stephany is a second year student double majoring in biology and statistics and a possible minor in bioethics. She is on the pre-medical field with hopes of becoming a surgeon. She is interested in the development of data science and its involvement in the medical field. She is a volunteer through Madison House, on the executive board of the Bioethics Society at UVa, and volunteer at another lab. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, and watching TED talks!

Jeffrey Yoo


Jeffrey Yoo is a second-year computer science major (and a potential mathematics major) interested in machine learning and AI. As a student researcher, he is interested in learning how to develop computational methodologies to solve problems in other fields. In his free time, he fences for the Virginia Fencing Club and loves to watch movies and TV shows.

Michael Ferguson


Mike Ferguson is a first-year computer science major and math minor. He is interested in Artificial Intelligence, software development, and computer engineering. He volunteers in another lab specializing in Convolutional Neural Networks and Computer Vision/Machine Learning. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar, ping pong, and waiting for the Singularity to occur. He is working on optimizing bioinformatics software and make it more user friendly/intuitive in any way possible.

Naifei Pan


Naifei Pan is a fourth year student double majoring in statistics and economics. She is very interested in data science and enjoys using R to solve problems. In the previous semesters, she has learned how to offer advice for commercial companies and has done a project about the racial disparity in the foster care system of Charlottesville. Now she is learning how to deal with biological datas in the lab. She hopes this experience can help her become a more efficient researcher and boost her research ability to a new level.

Visiting Scholars/Students

Rong-quan He, MD

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131

Rong-quan joined the lab as a visiting scholar in April 2018. He is currently a PhD candidate in biochemistry and molecular biology at Guangxi Medical University in China. After completing his medical training, he worked as a resident physician in the Department of Oncology at the Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University. He used to involve in a research project with big data mining, and now he is working on integrative analysis of RNA-seq data and ChIP-seq data in cancer.

Wen Shen

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131

Wen Shen joined the lab as a visiting student in February 2018. She is currently a fourth year undergraduate student majored in biological sciences at Nanjing University in China and was a research volunteer at University of Dundee. Wen is interested in studying the regulation of gene expression and functional pathways of unknown mechanisms in cells.

Lab Alumni

Qi Li

Visiting PhD Student, 2018

Qi is a PhD candidate in statistics from Tsinghua University, China. He was a visiting student in the lab in 2018. After obtaining his Bachelor degree from the Department of Mathematics in Tsinghua University, he is pursuing his PhD degree in the Center for Statistical Science in Tsinghua University. He has been working on a collaboration research project for detecting TF binding locations by integrating motif binding site, DNase-seq and ChIP-seq data.

Celina Shih

Summer Research Intern, 2017

Celina worked in the lab as a summer student in May-July, 2017. She is currently a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in biomedical engineering. Prior to joining Dr. Zang’s lab, Celina held multiple internship positions at the National Institutes of Health, including in the NIBIB and NIDCR departments.

We are recruiting!

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The Zang lab is recruiting motivated students and scholars to work on various topics in computational biology in a collaborative research team. Postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students are all welcome. Please visit Positions page for details.

Last modified: April 20, 2018