Challenges in Biobank-scale: Imaging Genetics and Beyond

Hongtu Zhu

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Barton Lectures in Computational Mathematics


Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Virtual through Zoom
Dr. Hongtu Zhu is a professor in the Department of Biostatistics at UNC. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2000 from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and obtained post doctorate training at Yale University. He has a broad background in statistics, biostatistics, medical imaging, genetics and computational neuroscience, with specific training and expertise in neuroimaging data analysis and big data integration as well as secondary data analysis on neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Dr. Zhu is also an Arthur H. Wuehmann Prize winner from American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.

Dr. Zhu will describe the largest genetic studies to date for various neuroimaging traits from different structural and functional modalities. He will showcase novel clinical findings from these large-scale analyses, such as the shared genetic influences among brain structures, functions, and a wide spectrum of clinical outcomes. The research has established genetic mappings from hundreds of anatomical brain regions onto their corresponding functional connectivities, and further onto complex mental disorders, which may transverse our current understanding of the disease emergence and development. Finally, he will discuss methodological challenges faced when processing these biobank-scale datasets and highlight opportunities to utilize the learned knowledges in downstream analyses for disease predictions and pathway analyses.