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image of Xiangning Chen, PhD, MS

Xiangning Chen, PhD, MS


Department of Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine


[email protected] | 713-500-3974

Xiangning (Sam) Chen is a professor at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston in the Center for Precision Health. Dr. Chen was a professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas before he left academics to start his own business in personalized medicine. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he decided to return to academics and joined McWilliams in June 2022. Dr. Chen was trained in genetics and genomics and his research focuses on genetic and genomic studies of psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, smoking addiction, anxiety and major depression). In recent years, he extended his research to adapt machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms for the studies of complex diseases, including cancers. Dr. Chen has published extensively on the research subjects and his research has been funded continuously by federal and state agencies throughout his academic career. The overall goal of his research is to utilize an individual’s genetic makeup and environmental exposures to model disease risks, facilitate early and accurate diagnosis, and provide information for targeted and personalized intervention and treatment.


  • PhD, 1994, Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Houston, Houston, Texas
  • MS, 1986, Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • BA, 1982, Guangxi Agriculture Institute, Nanning, Guangxi, China

Areas of Expertise

  • Genetics and genomics study of psychiatric disorders
  • Genomics technologies
  • Breast cancer
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomarker discovery
  • Disease risk modeling, evaluation and prediction

Staff Support

Leticia Flores | 713-500-3912

Selected Publications:

  1. Chen X, Chen DG, Zhao Z, Balko JM, Chen J: Artificial Image Objects for Classification of Breast Cancer Biomarkers with Transcriptome Sequencing Data and Convolutional Neural Network Algorithms. Breast Cancer Research, 2021, 23:96.
  2. Chen X, Chen DG, Zhao Z, Zhan J, Chen J: Artificial Image Objects for Classification of Schizophrenia with GWAS Selected SNVs and Convolutional Neural Network. Patterns, 2021, 2:100303.
  3. Chen J, Loukola A, Gillespie NA, Peterson R, Jia P, Riley B, Maes H, Dick DM, Kendler KS, Damaj MI, Miles MF, Zhao Z, Li MD, Vink JM, Minica CC, Willemsen G, Boomsma DI, Qaiser B, Madden PAF, Korhonen T, Jousilahti P, Hällfors J, Gelernter J, Kranzler HR, Sherva R, Farrer L, Maher B, Vanyukov M, Taylor M, Ware JJ, Munafò MR, Lutz SM, Hokanson JE, Gu F, Landi MT, Caporaso NE, Hancock DB, Gaddis NC, Baker TB, Bierut LJ, Johnson EO, Chenoweth M, Lerman C, Tyndale R, Kaprio J, Chen X. Genome-Wide Meta-Analyses of FTND and TTFC Phenotypes. Nicotine Res. 2019: 22(6):900-909. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntz099.
  4. Zhao Z, Xu J, Chen J, Kim S, Reimers M, Bacanu SA, Yu H, Liu C, Sun J, Wang Q, Jia P, Xu F, Zhang Y, Kendler KS, Peng Z, Chen X. Transcriptome sequencing and genome-wide association analyses reveal lysosomal function and actin cytoskeleton remodeling in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Molecular psychiatry. 2015; 20(5):563-572.
  5. Ji J, Sundquist K, Ning Y, Kendler KS, Sundquist J, Chen X. Incidence of cancer in patients with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives: a population-based study in Sweden. Schizophrenia bulletin. 2013; 39(3):527-36.