Chongzhi Zang Lab  

Lab Members


Principal Investigator

Chongzhi Zang, PhD

Office: West Complex, Room 6131C
Phone: 434-243-5397
Email: zang@virginia.edu
Website: faculty.virginia.edu/zang
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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 the Departments of Public Health Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and Biomedical Engineering at the UVA School of Medicine. He is also a faculty member of the UVA Cancer Center and the UVA 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
Email: zhenjia@virginia.edu

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
Phone: 434-243-0215
Email: sh8tv@virginia.edu

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.


Christopher Dampier, MD

Email: chd5n@virginia.edu

Chris is a General Surgery resident and a Research Fellow in the Department of Surgery and the Center for Public Health Genomics at the University of Virginia. He received his BA in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University and his MD from the University of Michigan. He was first exposed to informatics as a science while working as a commodities analyst at Louis Dreyfus Commodities, and he began analyzing high-dimensional bioinformatics data in the fMRI lab of Dr Jon-Kar Zubieta at the University of Michigan. He moved to Charlottesville for his residency in General Surgery and completed two years of clinical training prior to joining Dr Craig Slingluff's Surgical Oncology Training Grant under the mentorship of Dr Graham Casey in 2018. After two years of research, he will return to clinical training to complete his residency. Chris is a physician with growing expertise in bioinformatics and an interest in cancer genomics. His research focuses on molecular phenotyping and functional follow-up of GWAS-identified risk loci using high-throughput sequencing data in the setting of colorectal cancer.


Graduate Students

Yifan Zhang

Office: West Complex, Room 6131
Email: yz4hc@virginia.edu

Yifan joins 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.



Jiangxue Han

Email: jhan@virginia.edu

Jiangxue Han recently received her Master of Science degree in Data Science at University of Virginia. She has been working in biomedical engineering during her study at UVA. Jiangxue is very interested in how data science and machine learning can help study human genomics. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and exploring vineyards around Charlottesville!




Visiting Scholars/Students

Gang Chen, MD, PhD

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131
Email: gc4zm@virginia.edu

Gang joined the lab as a visiting scholar in September 2018. He has been working as a forensic doctor since he obtained a bachelor's degree in Clinical Medicine. Then he completed his first PhD in Pathology in China. Afterwards he continued his second PhD in Oncology in Free University Brussels in Belgium. Currently he is a professor of Clinical Molecular Pathology at the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University in China. He has involved in research projects on cancer biomarkers, and presently he focuses his studies on bioinformatics and integrative computational research in the human genome in cell line models and cancer systems.


Wenjing Ma

Office: West Complex, Suite 6131
Email: wm9tr@virginia.edu
Website: https://marvinquiet.github.io/

Wenjing Ma is a postgraduate student from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. She obtained her master and the bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Technology. Inspired by some books related to the Gene, she decided to develop a career combining her programming skills with biology. During her spare time, she likes going to the gym, cooking food, playing table tennis and the violin.



Undergraduate Students

Yayi Feng

Email: yf7qq@virginia.edu

Yayi Feng is an undergraduate student in the University of Virginia (Class of 2020). 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.


John Zhang

Email: jz5jx@virginia.edu

John Zhang is a Second Year Biology / Computer science major at UVA (Class of 2020). 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

Email: sp5wd@virginia.edu

Stephany is an undergraduate student double majoring in biology and statistics and a possible minor in bioethics in Class of 2020. 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

Email: jy2ma@virginia.edu

Jeffrey Yoo is a computer science major (and a potential mathematics major) interested in machine learning and AI in Class of 2020. 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

Email: mef8dd@virginia.edu

Mike Ferguson is a computer science major and math minor from Class of 2021. 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.


Zhou Lu

Email: zl4ej@virginia.edu

Zhou Lu is a third year student (Class of 2020) double majoring in statistics and economics at UVA. Interested in the application of statistics in different fields, she looks forward to learning more about computational biology. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and watching movies.



Aaron Ho

Email: ah2uf@virginia.edu

Aaron Ho is a third year student (Class of 2020) double majoring in biochemistry and computer science. As a student researcher, he is excited to help develop and optimize software for human genomics and see them applied to the medical field. In his free time, Aaron works as a volunteer EMT, competes in the Intercollegiate Programming Competition for UVA, and runs with Jim Ryan. After graduation, he plans to attend medical school with the hopes of becoming a surgeon.


Benjamin Ke

Email: bgk5ck@virginia.edu

Ben Ke is a first year student (Class of 2022) and intends on majoring in Statistics with a concentration in Biology. He looks forward to learning how to apply statistical, coding, and other skills from the classroom in actual research. He currently volunteers at the UVA Hospital through Madison House and enjoys playing tennis and chess in his free time. After graduation, he hopes to study in a medically-related field.



Sophie Park

Email: stp3rr@virginia.edu

Sophie is an undergraduate student (class of 2021) majoring in biochemistry and music and on the pre-medical track. She is interested in learning more about the human genome using computational methods. She enjoys playing violin and performs regularly with her piano trio and the Charlottesville Symphony.




Ishaan Dey

Email: id8tm@virginia.edu

Ishaan is an undergraduate student (Class of 2022) from Centreville, VA, intending to study Biostatistics and Economics on the pre-med track. He is particularly interested in exploring the intersection of machine learning and medical data. In his free time, Ishaan enjoys photography, playing basketball, and exploring the food scene at Charlottesville.




Tianhe Li

Email: tl4hx@virginia.edu

Tianhe Li is a third year undergraduate student (Class of 2020) majoring in Biology. He wants to pursue a career in medicine in the future. He wants to learn how biological problems can be solved using computational and statistical methods. In his free time, he likes to play sports and listen to music.




Leyao Li

Email: ll4wk@virginia.edu

Leyao Li is a third year undergraduate student (Class of 2020) majoring in biomedical engineering. She is interested in data science, especially in the field of biology and wants to learn more about methods dealing with data processing problems. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, cooking and traveling.




Megan Grieco

Email: mg3fh@virginia.edu

Megan Grieco is a Systems Engineering major in the class of 2021, pursuing the Chemical and Biomedical application sequence. She is excited about gaining experience in data science and research within the biological field. After graduation, she is planning on going to medical school. In her free time, she likes to travel, cheer on the Hoos, and rewatch the Office.



Xinyue Qiu

Email: xq8zu@virginia.edu

Xinyue is a second-year student (Class of 2021), double majoring in Biology and Statistics. Interested in both genetics and statistical analysis, she is interested in both obtaining knowledge and rich hands-on experience related. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, traveling, drawing, and playing games.




Zack Thomas

Email: zvt3fn@virginia.edu

Zachary Thomas is an undergraduate student (Class of 2021) from Oakton, VA majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. He is particularly interested in data science and its applications to further explore Biomedical Data. In his free time, he plays clarinet and bass clarinet with the UVA Wind Ensemble and Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra.



Courtney Laughlin

Email: cml3xd@virginia.edu

Courtney Laughlin is a third year Systems Engineering major pursuing the Software and Information Systems application sequence and minoring in Engineering Business. She is particularly interested in data science and analytics. In her free time, she plays volleyball, listens to new music, and cheers on the Hoos.




Sekou Rowe

Email: sjr3yr@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu

Sekou Rowe is an undergraduate student from Howard University (Class of 2021) majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biology. He joined the lab in summer 2019 for UVA's NSF REU program in Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering. He is interested in data science in fields dealing with biomedical engineering and mathematics. Sekou plans to earn a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. As a student researcher he is looking forward to computational biology and having a better understanding of epigenetics and genomics. Outside of academics, Sekou is an avid reader and enjoys games of strategy; his favorite being chess.



Lab Alumni



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: July 17, 2019