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Zeny Z. Feng


Affiliation:            Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph

Address:                 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1

Phone: 1-519-824-4120 x53294


Work Experience

2019 – present   Professor in Statistics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph

2009 – present   Graduate Faculty in Bioinformatics, University of Guelph

2017 – present   Graduate Faculty in Collaborative Specialization in AI (MSc), University of Guelph

2017 – 2020       Graduate Coordinator, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph

2013 – 2019       Associate Professor in Statistics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph

2006 – 2013      Assistant Professor in Statistics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph

2004 – 2006     Postdoctoral Associate, Division of Biostatistics, Yale School of Public Health

2001                   Part-time Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Wilfrid Laurier Universit

Academic and Training Background

2000 – 2005, PhD in Statistics, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

1999 – 2000, MMath in Biostatistics, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

1995 – 1999, BSc in Statistics, York University, Ontario, Canada

Selected Accomplishments and Honours

  • Member of nomination and selection committee for the prominent annual Distinguished Lecture Series in Statistics, a joint program of the Fields Institute and the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (2019-2022)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Evaluation Group: Mathematics and Statistics (EG1508) – Evaluation Committee Member (2015-2017).
  • Pierre Robillard Award for the best thesis in statistics defended in Canada, awarded by the Statistical Society of Canada, 2005. Thesis title: “Statistical methods in affected-sib-pairs analysis”, co-supervised by Drs. Mary Thompson and Jiahua Chen, University of Waterloo.

Peer-Reviewed Publications (HQPs are bold font, “*” indicates correspondence author)

  1. Hamadeh A, Feng Z, Niergarth J, Wong WWL (2021). A model-based estimation of the COVID-19 period prevalence and undiagnosed population in Canadian provinces. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance. Accepted
  2. DeMone C, McClure JT, Greenwood SJ, Fund R, Hwang MH, Feng Z, Shapiro K (2021). A metabarcoding approach for detecting protozoan pathogens in wild oysters from Prince Edward Island, Canada. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Accepted.
  3. Angevaare J, Feng Z, Deardon R (2021). Inference of latent event times and transmission networks in individual infectious disease models. Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Epidemiology, 37:100410
  4. Chamoun E, Liu AS, Duizer LM, Feng Z, Darlington G, Duncan A, Haines J, Ma DWL(2021). Single nucleotide polymorphisms in sweet, fat, umami and salt taste receptor genes are associated with gustatory function and taste preferences in young adults. Nutrition Research, 85:40-46. 
  5. Subedi S, Neish D, Bak S, & Feng Z*(2020). Cluster analysis of microbiome data via mixtures of Dirichlet multinomial regression models. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), 69(5):1163-1187.
  6. Hamadeh A, Haines A, Feng Z, Krahn M, Thein H, Janjua N, Krahn M, & Wong WWL (2020). Estimating Chronic Hepatitis C Prevalence in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada using population-based cohort studies. Journal of Viral Hepatitis,
  7. May JA, Feng Z, Orton MG, & Adamowicz SJ (2020). The Effects of Ecological Traits on the Rate of Molecular Evolution in Ray-Finned Fishes: A Multivariable Approach, Journal of Molecular Evolution, 88, 689-702.
  8. DeMone C, Hwang MH, Feng Z, McClure T, Greenwood S, Fund R, Kim M, Weese S, Shapiro K. (2020). Application of next generation sequencing for detection of protozoan pathogens in shellfish. Food and Waterborne Parasitology, 21:e00096.
  9. Harris C, Kim p, Waterjouse D, Feng Z, Niegthgarth J, Lee C (2020). Precision medicine and gut dybiosis. Healthcare Management Forum 33(3):107-110.
  10. Chen J & Feng Z (2020). Discussion on `Prior-based Bayesian Information Criterion (PBIC)’. Statistical Theory and Related Fields, 3(1): 14-16.
  11. Wald MA, Stanley A, Deeth, LE, Deardon R, Feng Z, Trotz-Williams LA (2019). Comparison of methods for detecting seasonal infuenza epidemics using a school absenteeism surveillance system. BMC Public Health, 19:1232.
  12. Tully S, Feng Z, Grindrod K, McFarlane T, Chan KKW, Wong WWL (2019). Impact of increasing wait times on overall mortality of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy in large B-cell lymphoma: A discrete event simulation model. JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics.
  13. Cruz V, Brito L, Schenkel F, Jafarikia M, & Feng Z* (2019). Strategies for within-litter selection of piglets using ultra-low density SNP panels. Livestock Science, 220: 173-179.
  14. Chen J & Feng Z (2019). A discussion of `Prior-based Bayesian Information Criterion’. Statistical Theory and Related Fields, 3:1, 14-16. DOI: 10.1080/24754269.2019.1583628
  15. Grossi DA, Brito LF, Jafarikia M, Schenkel FS and Feng Z*. (2018). Genotype imputation from various low-density SNP panels and its impact on accuracy of genomic breeding values in Canadian pigs. Animal: An International Journal of Animal Bioscience. (Honorably selected as the Article of the Month, November)
  16. Chamoun E, Carroll N, Duizer L, Qi W, Feng Z, Darlington G, Duncan A, Haines J, Ma D, – Guelph Family Health Study. (2018). The relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms in taste receptor genes, taste function and dietary intake in preschool-aged children and adults in the Guelph Family Health Study. Nutrients. 10(8): 990.
  17. Wu J, Chen G, Feng Z. (2017). An Efficient Semiparametric Approach for Marker Gene Selection and Patient Classification. Biostatistics and Biometrics Open Access Journal. 1(2)
  18. Brito LF, Kijas JW, Ventura RV, Sargolzaei M, Porto-Neto LR, Cánovas A, Feng Z, Jafarikia M, and Schenkel FS. (2017). Genetic diversity and signatures of selection in various goat breeds revealed by genome-wide SNP markers. BMC Genomics. 18: 229.
  19. Sung Y, Feng Z*, and Subedi S (2016). A genome-wide association study of multiple longitudinal traits with related subjects. Stat, 5(1):22-44.
  20. Wong W, Feng Z, and Thein H-H (2016). A parallel sliding region algorithm to make agent-based modeling possible for large-scale simulation: modeling hepatitis C epidemics in Canada. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics. 20(6): 1538 – 1544
  21. Khan AA, Zytner RG, Feng Z (2015). Establishing correlations and scale-up factor for estimating the petroleum biodegradation rate in soil. Bioremediation Journal 19(1): 32-46.
  22. Wang W, Feng Z*, Bull BS and Wang Z (2014). A 2-step strategy for detecting pleiotropic effects on multiple longitudinal traits. Frontiers in Genetics: Statistical Genetics and Methodology5: 357.
  23. Feng Z (2014). A generalized quasi-likelihood approach for simultaneous testing the genetic association of multiple traits. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics) 63(3): 483-498.
  24. Wong W, Griesman J and Feng Z* (2014). Imputing genotypes using regularized   generalized linear regression models. Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology 13(5): 519-529.
  25. Bifolchi N,Deardon R and Feng Z (2013). Spatial approximation of network-based individual level infectious disease models. Spatial and Spatio-TemporalEpidemiology 6: 59-70.
  26. Tong T, Feng Z, Hilton J, Zhao H (2013). Estimation of the proportion of true null hypotheses using the pattern of observed p-value. Journal of Applied Statistics, 40(9): 1949-1964.
  27. Subedi S, Feng Z*, Deardon R, Schenkel F (2013). SNP selection for predicting a quantitative trait. Journal of Applied Statistics 40(3): 600-613.
  28. Wu S, Xu Y, Feng Z, Yang X, Wang X, Gao X (2013). Multiple-platform data integration method with application to combined analysis of microarray and proteomic data. BMC Bioinformatics13: 320.
  29. Feng Z*, Yang X, Subedi S, McNicholas P (2012). The LASSO and sparse least square regression methods for SNP selection in predicting quantitative traits. IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 9(2): 629-636.
  30. Vrbik I, Deardon R, Feng Z, Gardner A, Braun J (2012). Using individual-level models for infectious disease spread to model spatio-temporal combustion dynamics. Bayesian Analysis 7(3): 615-638.
  31. Doelman J, Cao H, Purdie N, Swanson K, Osborne V, Tey J, Ali A, Feng Z, Karrow N, and Cant J (2012). Transcript profiling of the ruminant liver indicates a unique program of transcriptional regulation of ketogenic enzymes during a fast. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology-D: Genomics and Proteomics7: 303-310.
  32. Feng Z*, Wong W, Gao X, Schenkel F (2011). Generalized genetic association study with samples of related individuals. Annals of Applied Statistics 5(3): 2109-2130.
  33. BudelS, Shim S, Feng Z, Zhao H, Hisama F, Strittmatter SM (2008). No association between the genetic polymorphisms in the PlexinA2 gene and schizophrenia in Chinese Han Trios. Schizophrenia Research 99: 365-366.
  34. Budel S, Padukkavidana T, Liu B, Feng Z, Hu F, Johnson S, Lauren J, Park J, McGee A, Liao J, Stillman A, Kim J, Sodi S, Yang B, Gelernter J, Zhao H, Hisama F, Arnsten A, Strittmatter A (2008). Genetic variants of Nogo-66 receptor with possible association to schizophrenia block myelin inhibition of axon growth. Journal of Neuroscience 28(49): 13161-13172.
  35. Feng Z, Chen J, Thompson ME (2007). Asymptotic properties of the likelihood ratio test statistics in affected-sib-pair analysis. Canadian Journal of Statistics 35(3): 351-364.
  36. Wu S, Leng L, Feng Z, Liu N, McDonald C, Perry M, Lee A, Gregersen P, Mayes M, Bucala R, Zhao H (2006). Macrophage migration inhibitory factor promoter polymorphisms and the clinical expression of scleroderma. Arthritis and Rheumatism54: 3661-3669.
  37. Feng Z, Chen J, Thompson ME (2005). The universal validity of the possible triangle constraint in affected-sib-pair analysis.Canadian Journal of Statistics33(2): 297-310.

Research Funding

  • “Statistical methods for genetic and bioinformatic studies”, NSERC Discovery Grant-Individual, $100,000 (PI, 2019-2024).
  • “Developing System-level Policy Model for regenerative medicine and cell therapy in Oncology.” Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment (BioCanRx), Networks of Centres of Excellence, $100,000 (PI: Wong WWL, Chan KKW; Co-I 2018-2019)
  • “Understanding the treatment benefits of novel antiviral agents for hepatitis C: quality of life, health utility, cost, and return to work.” Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant, $470,169. (PI: Krahn M; Wong WWL; co-applicant, 2016-2019)
  • “Implementation of the very low-density SNP panel for early selection of the breeding pigs.” Ontario Center of Excellence (OCE) – Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP), $20,000. (PI, 2017)
  • “Development of an ultra-low density SNP panel for early selection of the breeding pigs in Canada.” NSERC Engaged Plus, $12,500. (PI, 2016)
  • “Statistical methods for genetic data analysis”, NSERC Discovery Grant-Individual, $90,000 (PI, 2014-2019)
  • “Exploring options for imputing to high-density genotypes from various lower density panels in swine as a mean of greater uptake of genomics by industry”, NSERC Engage Grant, $25,000 (PI, 2015).
  • “Cross sectional and longitudinal measures of quality of life and utility among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection”, CIHR Operating Grant, $100,000 (PI: Krahn M; Wong WWL; co-applicant, 2014-2017).
  • “Statistical methods for genetic data analysis”, NSERC Discovery Grant-Individual, $84,000 (PI, 2008-2014).
  • NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI), $36,130 (co-PI, 2011).

Student/Postdoctoral Supervision

Current MSc and Master of Bioinformatics (MBINF) Students

  • Rocky Narang, 09/2021 -, Statistics
  • Moksh Trivedi (co-advisor with Dr. Deeth), 09/2021 -, Statistics
  • Caitlin Kral (co-advisor with Dr. Deeth), 09/2021 -, Statistics
  • Yoel Yakobi (co-advised with Dr. Luken), 01/2021 -, MBINF
  • Victoria Cheesman, 09/2020 -, Statistics
  • Graham Eckel (co-advisor with Dr. Deeth), 09/2020 -, Statistics
  • Angelica Amore, 09/2019 -, Statistics

Former MSc in Statistics

Patrick McMillan, Kayla Vanderkruk, Cailin Harris, Nina Zhu, Siyu Chen, Adam Lazure, Drew Neish, Yubin Sung, Annetta Qi, Bo Sun, Anu Stanley, Lea Anne, Xiaojaing Yang, Irene Vbrik, Sanjeena Subedi, Michael McDonal, Jasper Tey, Andrew Hartery, Xiangdang Liu

Former MSc in Bioinformatics Students

Cailin Harris, Catherine DeMone, Stephen Bak Joshua Griesman

Former Master in Bioinformatics Students

Brittany MacIntyre, Mounika Kalluri, Animesh Vadaparti, Ian Lee, Angela Chan, Nikolaos Manesis, Mbita Nakazwe, Fathiya Mohamed, Mona Yang,Pabita Basnet, Mahdi Montazer Haghighi, Pabita Basnet, Michael Veltric, Ola Sawicka, Yuri Yatsenko, Young-Sub Lee

Current PhD students

  • Alysha Cooper (co-advisor with Dr. Ali), 09/2021 – , Statistics
  • Patrick McMillan (co-advisor with Dr. Luken), 05/2021 – , Bioinformatics
  • Chong Gan, 09/2019 – , Statistics
  • Jacqueline May (co-advisor with Dr. Adamovicz), 01/2018 – , Bioinformatics

Former PhD Students

  • Jessmyn Niergarth (co-avisored with Dr. Kim), 09/2016 – 08/2020
  • Justine Angevaare (co-advised with Dr. Deardon), 09/2014 – 09/2020
  • Nadia Bifolchi (co-advised with Dr. Deardon), 09/2010 – 06/2015
  • Jourdan Gold (co-advised with Dr. Deardon), 09/2009 -01/2015
  • Weiqiang Wang, 09/2010 – 06/2014

Former Post-doctorate

  • Stephen Tully (co-advised with Dr Wong), 05/2018 – 04/2020
  • Abdullah Hamadeh (co-advised with Dr Wong), 01/2017 -12/2018
  • Luiz Brito, 05/2017 – 12/2017
  • Valdecy Rocha da Cruz, 05/2016 – 02/2017
  • Daniela Amaral Grossi, 01/2015 – 08/2015