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image of Degui Zhi, PhD, MS

Degui Zhi, PhD, MS

Chair, Department of Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine

Department of Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine


[email protected] | 713-500-3629

Degui Zhi, PhD, MS became an associate professor at the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston, formerly UTHealth Houston School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI) on July 1, 2016. In the fall of 2022, he was named a professor. He joined the Center for Precision Health as one of the founding faculty members. With a unique background ranging from computer science to bioinformatics and statistical genetics, Zhi focuses on developing computational and statistical methods and practical strategies for biomedical big data analytics. His current research projects include: (1) population genome informatics; (2) Integration of trans-Omics data; and (3) predictive modeling of electronic health record (EHR) data using deep learning.

Dr. Zhi received his Ph.D. in bioinformatics from University of California, San Diego in 2006. He then took his postdoctoral training in computational genomics at the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics, Zhi was both an assistant professor (from 2009 to 2015) and an associate professor (from 2015 to 2016) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health, in the Department of Biostatistics.

"In the era of big data and precision medicine, informatics is the key engine for turning the data into insights; and statistics is the oil to the engine." Zhi said, "I am passionate about using both informatics and statistics to unleash the power of biomedical big data, from genomics to EHR."


  • PhD, 2006, Bioinformatics, University of California, San Diego
  • MS, 1999, Computer Science, National University of Singapore
  • BS, 1997, Computer Science, Beijing University

Areas of Expertise

  • Deep learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Imaging genetics
  • Population genetics informatics
  • Electronic health record
  • Predictive modeling

Staff Support

Leticia Flores | 713-500-3912