The study of biostatistics, bioinformatics and systems biology will focus on  developing and applying statistical and mathematical models in close collaboration with biomedical researchers. The mission of the Program in Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology is to train researchers who will contribute to biomedical research by developing new methods for the design and analysis of research studies and by formulating mathematical models of biologic systems, thereby contributing to our understanding of cancer biology and disease processes.


Student profile - Tenghui Chen

Tenghui Chen student profile photo

Being awestruck by the sight of the cellular structure under a microscope as a young student is what ignited Tenghui Chen’s passion for science. And from that moment, Tenghui knew he wanted to be a scientist. 

“During my master degree study [in China], I spent three years investigating the specific gene function in liver cancer development and drug metabolism, and was amazed how genetics could contribute to cancer,” said Tenghui.   

Today, he is interested in investigating translational genomics in the Program in Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. He employs computational approaches that integrate high dimensional -omics data to inform clinical decision-making and biomarker discovery. His advisor is Ken Chen, Ph.D. 

“Tenghui possesses unique talent, intellectual capacity, personality and ambition to make major contribution to science,” said Dr. Chen. “He has unequivocally been a driver in my group. He always took initiatives to dive into new challenges, without waiting on instructions. This is particularly important to research, where ideas and independent thinking are the most important assets and opportunities are always around the corner.” 

This drive has also helped Tenghui receive major awards at GSBS which include The Antje Wuelfrath Gee and Harry Gee, Jr., Family Legacy Award and a Presidents’ Research Scholarship. 

“Winning the UT-GSBS and MDACC-wide awards was definitely a great encouragement of my research,” said Tenghui. “It was an important recognition of not only my personal research efforts but also the contributions that bioinformatics and computational biology works could potentially make in translational cancer research. In addition, the ability to apply the awards and share your works with peers is important. Doing solid scientific research is cool, but making people explicitly understand and recognize the significance of your research is even critical, which is sometimes hard but very helpful for scientists.” 

After graduating from GSBS, Tenghui plans on pursuing a career focusing on oncology research either in academia or industry. 

“One constant goal of my career is to maximize my impact in helping improve the quality of healthcare,” said Tenghui.