Graduate Student Excellence-in-Research Award 2020
Xinlian Zhang, who graduated with a Ph.D. in statistics in May 2019, is an assistant professor in residence in the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at the University of California at San Diego. With a research breadth that is highly unusual among her peers, Xinlian and her partners are improving statistical models to address complex questions and making significant contributions to a wide range of research topics, including mainstream statistics, machine learning, epigenetics and genomics. She has collaborated on statistical analyses with a zebrafish retina development lab that could benefit drug discovery for retinal degeneration. She has also assisted her research colleagues by developing methods to improve mathematical analyses for rapid empirical feedback systems and to make better use of currently available computing power. A co-author of 12 peer-reviewed articles with several more submitted for publication, she has served as referee for many papers in a variety of statistics and bioinformatics journals.