Juan (Wendy) Zhao, PhD

Research Assistant Professor


I am a Research Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), where I am a member of the Wei-Lab and the Center for Precision Medicine Center. I joined the department in September 2017.

My general research area is applied machine learning and data science for large biomedical data to facilitate a better understanding of complex diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Focuses on leveraging machine learning and NLP models on EHR, genetic, and social media data to improve deep phenotyping and disease prediction. I am interested in topics including model explanation, uncertainty measurement, and fairness. 

I received my bachelor's degree in computer science from Shandong University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the Univerisity of Chinese Academy of Sciences in China. I then worked as a Senior Engineer and Product Manager at the Chinese Computer Network Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After that, I worked at Tennessee State University's Cyber Security Lab as a Research Scientist, focusing on machine learning and transfer learning algorithms, and blockchain. I completed a postdoc fellowship at the Center for Precision Medicine at VUMC. 

So far, I have published over 30 papers in biomedical informatics, data mining, machine learning, and blockchain in healthcare, which have been published in journals like the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, Scientific Reports, JAMIA, and IEEE conferences. In addition, I am an associate editor of the Journal of Network Modeling Analysis in Health Informatics and Bioinformatics and served program committee for several top conferences such as AAAI and IEEE big data.