Dr. Xi Kathy Zhou joined the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College from the Genomic Institute of Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego, where she served as a biostatistician and worked on projects related to microarray and high-throughput screening data analysis. She holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences at Duke University.
Dr. Zhou’s research interest is to develop and apply novel statistical methods to better design biological and clinical studies related to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment and properly analyze data generated from such studies. Specifically, her interest in statistical methodology covers hierarchical model development, variable selection, model averaging, predictive modeling and the analysis of large complex datasets. She developed a Bayesian hierarchical model to classify missense mutations on disease susceptibility genes (Journal of the American Statistical Association, 100: 51-60), made significant contributions to the development of a Bayesian method to accurately estimate minimum inhibitory concentration based on high throughput microbial growth curves generated from automated microbial susceptibility systems (Annals of Applied Statistics, 3: 710-730), and developed a novel Bayesian model averaging (BMA) approach for analyzing observational gene-expression data (Annals of Applied Statistics, 6: 497-520). She is currently applying the BMA approach to the analysis of metabolomic data derived from mouse and human samples. Her methodology research has been funded by NIH/NCI and the CTSC.
Dr. Zhou collaborates extensively with laboratory researchers and clinicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on cancer related laboratory and clinical studies. She helped design numerous studies and analyzed data generated from such studies. She has served as the Lead Biostatistician in cancer prevention clinical trials. Her collaborative effort has resulted in interesting and potentially important biomedical findings. For example, in her collaboration with Dr. Dannenberg’s group, they made an unexpected discovery that celecoxib, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, appeared to shunt arachidonic acid into the 5-lipoxygenase pathway (Cancer Prevention Research, 2: 322-9). This finding offered a potential explanation for the cardiovascular side effects of the drug and became the basis for an ongoing federally funded biomarker-based phase II clinical trial. A major focus of her current collaborative effort is to understand the link along the obesity→inflammation→aromatase pathway in excess adipose tissue of mice and humans and the role of this link in the development and prognosis of various types of cancer. Her collaborative efforts have been supported by NIH/NCI, FAMRI, Botwinick-Wolfensohn Foundation, Metastasis Research Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Breast Cancer Research Foundation.