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Jingchun Sun, PhD

Assistant Professor

Jingchun Sun, PhD, joined the faculty at UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics on July 1, 2013 as an assistant professor of biomedical informatics. She came to SBMI from the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where she worked as a research assistant professor. Sun’s research interests include bioinformatics, systems biology, network pharmacology, biological data integration and mining, and biological network reconstruction and mining.

Sun is currently working on research projects related to network pharmacology, which includes drugs used to treat cancer, psychiatric disorder and addiction. Her future research will continue along those lines with an integration of clinical data mining for identifying critical molecules for drug treatment. Sun is working specifically on the grant “Repurposing Existing Drugs for Cancer Treatment using Electronic Health Records” under principal investigator and SBMI associate professor Hua Xu, PhD.

“I believe that the integration of bioinformatics and biomedical informatics will facilitate the investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying the complex diseases and their treatment, which provides valuable information for further understanding of molecular mechanisms of complex diseases and development of effective drugs for complex disease treatment,” said Sun. “Additionally, I believe that my research will facilitate in the discovery of novel genetic factors and provide genetic evidence for hypothesis generation, experimental design and verification, which in turn can reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying complex diseases and their treatment.”

Phone: 713-500-3934
Fax: 713-500-3929

Staff Support

Yukiko Bryson
Phone: 713-500-3992


  • PhD, 2005, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China  
  • MS, 2001, Fisheries Genetics, Shanghai Fisheries University, Shanghai, China
  • BS, 1995, Fisheries Biology, Southwest Agricultural University, Chongqing, China

Areas of Expertise

  • Multiple biological data integration and mining
  • Biological network reconstruction and interpretation
  • Network pharmacology
  • Translational medicine

Research Projects

  • Multi-dimensional evidence-based prioritization of critical factors
  • Integrative analyses of clinical, genetic and genomic data
  • Construction and application of disease-specific networks, including protein-protein interaction networks, regulatory networks and drug-target interaction networks
  • Network-based investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying drug actions


Current Grants:

Repurposing Existing Drugs for Cancer Treatment using Electronic Health Records
CPRIT (Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas), Rising Star (PI – Hua Xu)
2012 - 2017
Role: Co-Investigator

Completed Grants:

A Systematic Analysis of Genotype-Phenotype Association in Psychosis
NARSAD (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression), 2010 Young Investigator Award (PI - Jingchun Sun)
07/15/11 - 07/14/2013 
Role: Principal Investigator

Generation of Ethanol Response Gene Resource by Large-Scale Data Integration
NIH/NIAAA 7R21AA07437-02 (PI - Zhao)
07/10/08 - 06/30/12
Role: Co-Investigator

Vanderbilt Biomedical Informatics Training Program - Curriculum Supplement
NIH/NIAAA 5T15LM007450-09S1 (PI - Gadd)
07/01/10 - 06/30/11
Role: Co-Investigator


  1. Atrey R, Sun J*, Zhao Z. Exploring drug-target interaction networks of illicit drugs. 2013 BMC Genomics (in press) (*Co-first author)
  2. Bacanu SA, Chen J, Sun J, Richardson K, Lai CQ, Zhao Z, O'Donovan M, Kendler K, Chen X. Functional SNPs are enriched for schizophrenia association signals. 2013 Molecular Psychiatry (Epub ahead of print)
  3. Zhao M, Sun J, Zhao Z. TSGene: a web resource for tumor suppressor genes. Nucleic Acids Research. 2013 41(D1):D970-976
  4. Sun J, Gong X, Purow B, Zhao Z. Uncovering microRNA and transcription factor mediated regulatory networks in glioblastoma. PLoS Computational Biology. 2012 8(7): e1002488
  5. Sun J, Wu Y, Xu H, Zhao Z. DTome: a web-based tool for drug-target interactome construction. BMC Bioinformatics. 2012 13 (Suppl 9): 57
  6. Sun J, Jayathilake K, Zhao Z, Meltzer H. Investigating association of four gene regions (GABRB3, MAOB, PAH, and SLC6A4) with five symptoms in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research. 2012 198(2):202-206
  7. Xu J, Sun J*, Chen J, Helm M, Li Anna, Zhao Z, Chen X. RNA-Seq analysis implicates dysregulation of the immune system in schizophrenia. BMC Genomics. 2012 13(Suppl 8):S2. (*Co-first author)
  8. Sun J, Xu H, Zhao Z. Network-assisted investigation of antipsychotic drugs and their targets. Chemistry & Biodiversity. 2012 9(5):900-910
  9. Zhao M, Sun J, Zhao Z. Distinct and competitive regulatory patterns of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes in ovarian cancer. PLoS One. 2012 7(8):e44175
  10. Schleker S, Sun J, Raghavan B, Srnec M, Müller N, Koepfinger M, Murthy L, Zhao Z, Klein-Seetharaman J. The current Salmonella-host interactome. Proteomics - Clinical Applications. 2012 6(1-2):117-133
  11. Garcia C, Shaffer C, Alfaro M, Smith A, Sun J, Zhao Z, Young P, VanSaun M, Eid J. Reprogramming of mesenchymal stem cells by the synovial sarcoma-associated oncogene SYT–SSX2. Oncogene. 2012 31(18):2323-2334
  12. Liu M, Wu Y, Chen Y, Sun J, Zhao Z, Chen XW, Xu H. Large-scale prediction of adverse drug reactions using chemical, biological, and phenotypic properties of drugs. J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 2012 19(e1):e28-35
  13. Sun J, Wan C, Jia P, Riley BP, Kendler KS, Zhao Z. Application of systems biology approach identifies and validates GRB2 as a risk gene for schizophrenia in the Irish Case Control Study of Schizophrenia (ICCSS) sample. Schizophrenia Research. 2011 125(2-3):201-208
  14. Putnam D, Sun J, Zhao Z. Exploring schizophrenia drug-gene interactions through molecular network and pathway modeling. AMIA Annu. Symp. Proc. 2011 2011:1127-1133
  15. Xia J, Sun J, Jia P, Zhao Z. Do cancer proteins really interact strongly in the human protein-protein interaction network? Computational Biology and Chemistry. 2011 35(3):121-125
  16. Gordy Laura, Bezbradica Jelena, Flyak Andrew, Spencer Charles, Dunkle Alexis, Sun J, Stanic A, Boothby M, He You, Zhao Z, Kaer Luc, Joyce S. IL-15 regulates homeostasis and terminal maturation of NKT cells. Journal of Immunology. 2011 187(12):6335-6345
  17. Sun J, Jia P, Fanous AH, van den Oord EJCG, Chen X, Riley BP, Amdur RL, Kendler KS, Zhao Z. Schizophrenia gene networks and pathways and their applications for novel candidate gene selection. PLoS One. 2010 5(6): e11351
  18. Sun J, Zhao Z. Functional features, biological pathways and protein interaction networks of addiction-related genes. Chemistry & Biodiversity. 2010 7(5):1153-1161
  19. Sun J, Zhao Z. A comparative study of cancer proteins in the human protein-protein interaction network. BMC Genomics. 2010 11 (Suppl 3):S5
  20. Sun J, Han L, Zhao Z. Gene- and evidence-based candidate gene selection for schizophrenia and gene feature analysis. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. 2010 48(2-3):99-106
  21. Jia P, Sun J, Guo AY, Zhao Z. SZGR: A comprehensive schizophrenia gene resource. Molecular Psychiatry. 2010 15(5):453-462
  22. Guo AY, Sun J, Jia P, Zhao Z. A novel microRNA and transcription factor mediated regulatory network in schizophrenia. BMC Systems Biology. 2010 4:10
  23. Sun J, Jia P, Fanous AH, Webb BT, van den Oord EJCG, Kendler KS, Zhao Z. A multi-dimensional evidence-based candidate gene prioritization approach for complex diseases – schizophrenia as a case. Bioinformatics. 2009 25(19):2595-2602
  24. Guo A*, Sun J*, Riley BP, Kendler KS, Zhao Z. The dystrobrevin binding protein 1 gene: features and networks. Molecular Psychiatry. 2009 14:18-29. (*Co-first author)
  25. Sun J, Kuo PH, Riley BP, Kendler KS, Zhao Z. Candidate genes for schizophrenia: a survey of association studies and gene ranking. American Journal of Medical Genetics B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics. 2008 147B(7):1173-1181
  26. Sun J, Sun Y, Ding G, Liu Q, Wang C, He Y, Shi T, Li Y, Zhao Z. InPrePPI: an integrated evaluation method based on genomic context for predicting protein-protein interactions in prokaryotic genomes. BMC Bioinformatics. 2007 8:414
  27. Sun J, Zhao Z. Construction of phylogenetic profiles based on genetic distance of hundreds of genomes. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2007 355(3):849-853
  28. Sun J, Li Y, Zhao Z. Phylogenetic profiles for the prediction of protein-protein interactions: how to select reference organisms? Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2007 353(4):985-991
  29. Sun J, Xu J, Cao J, Liu Q, Guo X, Shi T, Li Y. Prediction and systematic study of protein-protein interaction networks of Leptospira interrogans. Chinese Science Bulletin. 2006 51:1296-1305
  30. Sun J, Xu J, Liu Z, Liu Q, Zhao A, Shi T, Li Y. Refined phylogenetic profiles method for predicting protein-protein interactions. Bioinformatics. 2005 21(16):3409-3415
  31. Sun J, Chen M, Xu J, Luo J. Relationships among stop codon usage bias, its context, isochores, and gene expression level in various eukaryotes. Journal of Molecular Evolution 2005 61(4):437-444
  32. Sun J, Xu J, Li Y. Analysis and application of large-scale protein-protein interaction data sets. Chinese Science Bulletin. 2005 50:2267-2272