Hua Tan, PhD

Assistant Professor

Hua Tan, Ph.D., joined the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI) in July of 2017 as an Assistant Professor. Before joining UTHealth, Tan worked at Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine first as a postdoctoral Research Fellow (11/2013-09/2016) and then as an Instructor (10/2016-07/2017). Prior to that, Tan was an Assistant Professor in the College of Global Change and Earth System Science at Beijing Normal University (08/2011-11/2013).

Dr. Tan received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Beijing Normal University School of Mathematical Sciences in July 2011, mentored by Professor Jiguang Bao. During his doctoral program, he was awarded a full scholarship from the Methodist Hospital Research Institute & Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and studied Bioinformatics and Computational Biology there for 2 years (9/2008 - 8/2010). He received his B.Sc. in Information and Computing Sciences from Beijing University of Chemical Technology in July 2006.

Tan’s research work primarily focuses on applying mathematical modeling techniques, computational algorithms and bioinformatics approaches to address critical and challenging biological/clinical questions, by closely collaborating with biologists and clinicians. During the last years, he has worked on a series of significant topics regarding human cancer and other diseases, including cancer stem cell-driven tumor growth modeling in 3D, signaling-regulated kidney regeneration modeling in 3D, cancer-associated driver mutation identification, genome-wide mutational spectra analysis at both amino acid and gene levels, etc. His current research projects include: 1) integrating experimental data and systems biology approaches to explore the bone regeneration process within cytokine-loaded and pre-vascularized scaffold, and 2) investigating the general and particular mechanisms of microRNA upregulation of target genes in a pan-cancer manner.

Phone: 713.500.3954
Fax: 713.500.3929

Staff Support

Blanca Torres
Phone: 713.486.0114


  • Ph.D., Mathematics, 2011, Beijing Normal University
  • B.S., Information and Computing Sciences, 2006, Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Areas of Expertise

  • Systems Biology
  • Computational Biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Complex system modeling
  • Cancer genomics


1U01AR069395-01A1 (PI: Zhou, XB) 09/01/2016-08/30/2021
Title: Systems modeling guided bone regeneration
The purpose is to develop coherent experimental protocols, material engineering and multi-scale mathematical models for systematically optimizing bone regeneration
Role: Co-Investigator.


Invited Book Chapters

  1. Tan H, Zhou X: Detection of combinatorial mutational patterns in human cancer genomes by exclusivity analysis. Methods in Molecular Biology 2017, Springer. Invited book chapter, in press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Papers (in chronological order, *co-first, **co-corresponding)

  1. Tian H, Yu P, Cazelles B, Xu L, Tan H, Yang J, Huang S, Xu B, Cai J, Ma C, Wei J, Li S, Qu J, Laine M, Wang J, Tong S, Stenseth NC, Xu B: Interannual cycles of Hantaan virus outbreaks at the human-animal interface in Central China are controlled by temperature and rainfall. PNAS 2017, 114(30): 8041-8046
  2. Tan H*, Chen R*, Li W*, Zhao W, Zhang Y, Yang Y, Su J, Zhou X: A systems biology approach to studying the molecular mechanisms of osteoblastic differentiation under cytokine combination treatment. npj Regenerative Medicine 2017, 2(5): 1-9.
  3. Tan H**: The association between gene SNPs and cancer predisposition: correlation or causality? EBioMedicine 2017, 16: 8-9. (Invited Commentary)
  4. Wang W, Fan J, Huang G, Zhu X, Tian Y, Tan H, Su L: Meta-analysis of prevalence of erectile dysfunction in mainland china: evidence based on epidemiological surveys. Sexual Medicine 2017, 5: e19-e30.
  5. Tian H, Yu P, Bjørnstad ON, Cazelles B, Yang J, Tan H, Huang S, Cui Y, Dong L, Ma C, Ma C, Zhou S, Laine M, Wu X, Zhang Y, Wang J, Yang R, Stenseth NC, Xu B: anthropogenically driven environmental changes shift the ecological dynamics of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. PLOS Pathogens 2017, 13(1): e1006198.
  6. Qian X, Tan H, Zhang J, Zhao W, Chan M, Zhou X: Stratification of pseudoprogression and true progression of glioblastoma multiform based on longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging without segmentation. Medical Physics 2016, 43(11): 5889-5902.
  7. Tan H, Yi H, Zhao W, Ma J, Zhang Y, Zhou X: Intraglomerular crosstalk elaborately regulates podocyte injury and repair in diabetic patients: insights from a 3D multiscale modeling study. Oncotarget 2016, 7(45): 73130-73146.
  8. Qian X*, Tan H*, Zhang J, Liu K, Zhao W, Chan M, Zhou X: Identification of biomarkers for pseudo and true progression of GBM based on radiogenomics study. Oncotarget 2016, 7(34): 55377-55394.
  9. Zhang L, Qiao M, Gao H, Hu B, Tan H, Zhou X, Li C: Investigation of mechanism of bone regeneration in a porous biodegradable calcium phosphate (CaP) scaffold by combination of multi-scale agent based model and experimental optimization/validation. Nanoscale 2016, 8: 14877-14887.
  10. Zhang G, Tan H, Qian X, Zhang J, Li K, David LR, Zhou X: A systematic approach to predicting the spring force for sagittal craniosynostosis surgery. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2016, 27(3): 636-43.
  11. Zhang J, Yu H, Qian X, Liu K, Tan H, Li K, Chan M, Debinski W, Paulsson A, Wang G, Zhou X: Pseudo Progression Identification of Glioblastoma with Dictionary Learning. Computers in Biology and Medicine 2016, 73: 94-101.
  12. Peng H, Zhao W, Tan H, Ji Z, Li K, Zhou X: Prediction of treatment efficacy for prostate cancer using a mathematical model. Scientific Reports 2016, 6: 21599.
  13. Peng H*, Tan H*, Zhao W, Jin G, Sharma S, Xing F, Watabe K, Zhou X: Computational Systems Biology in Cancer Brain Metastasis. Frontiers in Biosciences (scholar edition) 2016, 8: 169-186.
  14. Qian X, Tan H, Zhang J, Zhuang X, Branch L, Sanger C, Thompson A, Zhao W, Li K, David L, Zhou X: Objective classification system for sagittal craniosynostosis based on suture segmentation. Medical Physics 2015, 42(9): 5545-5558.
  15. Tan H, Bao J, Zhou X: Genome-wide mutational spectra analysis reveals significant cancer-specific heterogeneity. Scientific Reports 2015, 5: 12566.
  16. Li F, Tan H, Singh J, Yang J, Xia X, Bao J, Ma J, Zhan M, Wong STC: A 3D multiscale model of cancer stem cell in tumor development. BMC Systems Biology 2013 (suppl 2): S12.
  17. Tan H**, Wei K, Bao J, Zhou X**: In silico study on multidrug resistance conferred by I223R/H275Y double mutant neuraminidase. Molecular Biosystems 2013, 9: 2764-2774.
  18. Wang Y, Jiang Z, Jin Z, Tan H, Xu B: Risk factors of infectious diseases for backyard poultry farms in the Poyang Lake area, China. PLOS ONE 2013, 8(6): e67366.
  19. Tan H, Bao J, Zhou X: A novel missense-mutation-related feature extraction scheme for 'driver' mutation identification. Bioinformatics 2012, 28(22): 2948-2955.
  20. Tan H*, Fan J*, Bao J, Dy JG, Zhou X: A computational model for compressed sensing RNAi cellular screening. BMC Bioinformatics 2012, 13: 337.
  21. Sun X, Zhang L, Tan H, Bao J, Strouthos C, Zhou X: Multi-scale agent-based brain cancer modeling and prediction of TKI treatment response: incorporating EGFR signaling pathway and angiogenesis. BMC Bioinformatics 2012, 13: 218.
  22. Tan H: Solve a type of partial differential equations by finite element method. Journal of Beijing Normal University (Natural Science) 2011, 47(2): 129-130. (in Chinese)

Conference Proceedings/Abstracts

  1. Tan H, Kim S, Zhao W, Yang Y, Zhou X: Multiscale modeling of vascularized bone regeneration in hybrid constructs of soft collagen gels and rigid scaffold. 2017 IMAG Multiscale Modeling Consortium Meeting. NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, March 22-24, 2017. (Abstract and Poster)
  2. Tan H, Yi H, Zhao W, Zhang Y, Zhou X: Glomerular intercellular cross talk elaborately regulates podocyte injury and repair: insights from a 3D multiscale modeling study. 2015 IMAG Multiscale Modeling Consortium Meeting. NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, September 8-9, 2015. (Abstract and Poster)
  3. Tan H, Chen R, Zhao W, Zhang Y, Yang Y, Su J, Zhou X: Modeling bone MSC lineage progression in a growth factor – loaded CaP scaffold subjected to mechanical stress. 2015 IMAG Multiscale Modeling Consortium Meeting. NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, September 8-9, 2015. (Abstract and Poster)
  4. Zhang R, Tan H, Kachroo P, Xiong Z, Zhou X: Systematic Analysis of Mycobacterial Tuberculosis Stimulated CCL2 Signaling Pathway in Monocytes. International Computational Science and Engineering Conference. Doha, May 11-12, 2015. (Proceeding Paper)
  5. Tan H, Chen R, Zhao W, Zhang Y, Yang Y, Su J, Zhou X: Multicellular modeling of MSC lineage progression under combination cytokine treatment for bone regeneration. 2014 IMAG Multiscale Modeling Consortium Meeting. NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, September 3-4, 2014. (Abstract and Poster)
  6. Tan H, Yang M, Zhang T, Xu B: A multi-agent dynamic network model for assessing environmental pathways in avian influenza transmission. 2013 AAG annual meeting. Los Angeles, California, April 9-13, 2013. (Abstract)
  7. Tan H, Li F, Singh J, Xia X, Cridebring D, Yang J, Bao J, Ma J, Zhan M, Wong STC: A 3-Dimentional Multiscale Model to Simulate Tumor Progression in Response to Interactions between Cancer Stem Cells and Tumor Microenvironmental Factors. IEEE 6th International Conference on Systems Biology (ISB) 2012:297-303. (Proceeding Paper)
  8. Li F, Tan H, Singh J, Yang J, Xia X, Ma J, Zhang M, Dickinson M, Rosen J, Lewis MT, Zhan M, Wong STC. A 3D Imaging-Driven Computational Model for Simulating and Predicting Tumor Development and Re-growth under Tumor Microenvironment. NCI’s Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP) Mathematical Modeling Cancer Systems. Tampa, Florida, March 18-20, 2012. (Abstract)