The Hu Lab

Health Data Science, Bioinformatics and Statistical Genetics

Dr. Hu organizes the monthly Bioinformatics-Biostatistics Journal Club and Research Seminar Series in The University of Manitoba. It aims to stimulate discussion of computational and statistical method development and applications for complex health data in translation and personalized medicine. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to join this monthly event. The event runs from Fall term (August) to Winter term (May). If you want to give a talk in the Series, Please contact me at

2021 - 2022

Date:           May 2022
Topic:         Health data security and privacy: Challenges and solutions
Speaker:     Dr. Noman Mohammed, University of Manitoba

Date:          April 2022
Topic:        The application and consideration of the PangoLEARN machine learning SARS-CoV-2 lineage classification tool 
Speaker:    Dr. Chih-Yu Chen, National Microbiology Lab

Date:          March 2022
Topic:        Transcriptome and Proteome Prediction for Trait Mapping in Diverse Populations
Speaker:    Dr. Heather Wheeler, Loyola University Chicago, USA

Date:          March 2022
Topic:         Proportionality-based association measures in count- based compositional data
Speaker:    Dr. Kevin McGregor, York University

Date:         February 2022
Topic:       Machine Learning in Cancer Precision Medicine
Speaker:   Dr. Amin Emad, McGill University

Date:        January 2022
Topic:       Canceled 

Date:         December 2021
Topic:       Canceled

Date:          November 2021
Topic:        Biomarker Discovery Using Preclinical Pharmacogenomic Data: Challenges and Opportunities
Speaker:    Dr. Benjamin Haibe-Kains, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre / University of Toronto

Date:         October 2021
Topic:        Automated mapping of tumour microenvironment cell types from highly multiplexed imaging data
Speaker:    Dr. Kieran Campbell, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute / University of Toronto

Date:          August 2021
Topic:        Understanding human brain structure through imaging genetics
Speaker:    Qian Liu (Dr. Pingzhao Hu Lab), University of Manitoba

2020 - 2021

Date:          May 2021
Topic:        New approaches empower rare variant association analysis of whole-genome sequencing studies

Speaker:    Dr. Razvan Romanescu, George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Department of Community Health Sciences

Date:         April 2021
Topic:       Tracking Virus Outbreaks Using Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics
Speaker:   Dr. Binhua Liang, National Microbiology Laboratory and Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics

Date:        March 2021
Topic:       Single-cell RNA-seq: a single technique that answers many questions. The case of cell populations analysis and transcriptomics in the immune system
Speaker:   Dr. Carlos Farkas Pool (Dr. Jody Haigh Lab), Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology and University of Manitoba

Date:        February 2021
Topic:       Computational estimation of tissue cell-type composition from omics data 
Speaker:   Yong Won Jin (MSc student, Dr. Pingzhao Hu  Lab), Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics

Date:        January 2021
Topics:     Evaluating drug targets through human loss-of-function genetic variation
Dr.            Galen Wright, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Date:         December 2020
Topic:       Smooth modeling of covariate effects in bisulfite sequencing-derived measures of DNA methylation
Speaker:   Kaiqiong Zhao (PhD Candidate in Dr. Celia Greenwood Lab), Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University

Date:        November 2020
Topic:       A crash course in DNA methylation analysis and interpretation 
Speaker:   Samantha Lee (PhD Student in Dr. Meaghan Jones Lab), Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics

Date:        October 2020
Topic:       Microbiome data analysis: Lessons learned so far and the to-do list
Speaker:   Dr. Shreyas Kumbhare (Dr. Meghan Azad Lab), Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and University of Manitoba

Date:        September 2020
Topic:       Convolutional neural networks for disease prediction from microbiome data
Speaker:   Dr. Divya Sharma (Dr. Wei Xu Lab), Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University of Toronto

Date:         August 2020
Topic 1:    COVID-19 CT lung image segmentation using deep generative models
Speaker 1: Judah Zammit (Dr. Pingzhao Hu , Dr. Carson K Leung labs), Department of Computer Science

Topic 2:     Self-supervised COVID-19 CT lung image segmentation with increasing mask complexity in-painting through multiple networks
Speaker 2: Daryl Fung (Dr. Pingzhao Hu, Dr. Carson K Leung labs), Department of Computer Science

Topic 3:     Deep learning-based COVID-19 diagnosis and mediators of gender, age and underlying diseases effects on COVID-19 through chest CT imaging phenotypes
Speaker 3: Qian Liu (Dr. Pingzhao Hu, Dr. Carson K Leung labs), Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics and Department of Computer Science

2019 - 2020

Date:       May, 2020
Topic:      Best practices for single-cell RNA-seq analyses (Journal Club)
Speaker:  Dr. Britt Drögemöller, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics

Date:       April, 2020

Topic:      Precision medicine approaches to outcomes in multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia
Speaker:  Dr. Kaarina Kowalec Lab, College of Pharmacy

Date:       March, 2020 (Canceled)
Topic:      TBA (TBA)
Speaker:  Dr. Paul Mclaren Lab, National Microbiology Laboratory/Department of Medical Microbiology

Date:       February, 2020
Topic:      Source prediction of food-borne infections using machine learning approaches (Journal Club)
Speaker:  Dr. Chih-Yu Chen (Dr. Gary Vandomselaar Lab), National Microbiology Laboratory

Date:       January, 2020
Topic:      Understanding genetic basis of imaging phenotypes through genome-wide mediation analysis (Journal Club)
Speaker:  Qian Liu (Dr. Pingzhao Hu Lab), Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics/Department of Computer Science

Date:       December, 2019
Topic:      Modelling Measurement Uncertainties in RNA-seq Data (Journal Club)
Speaker:  Dr. Tobias Karakach, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba

 Date:      November, 2019
Topic:      Casebase: An alternative framework for survival analysis (Research Seminar)
Speaker:  Dr. Max Turgeon, Department of Statistics and Department of Computer Science

Date:        October, 2019
Topic:       Complexity of Cancer Susceptibility (CANSSI Ontario STAGE: International Speaker Seminar Series, Live Presentation is in Toronto)
Speaker:   Dr. Stephen Chanock, National Cancer Institute, USA

Date:       October, 2019
Topic:     Thinking About Biomarker Study Design: It’s More Than Just Sample Size (Journal Club)
Speaker:  Dr. Robert Balshaw, Centre for Healthcare Innovation/Department of Community Health Sciences

Date:       September, 2019
Topic:      Spatial compound Poisson modelling of repeated events with an application to disease mapping (Research Seminar)
Speaker:  Shabnam Balamchi (Dr. Mahmoud Torabi Lab), Department of Community Health Sciences/Department of Statistics

Date:       September, 2019
Topic:      Biostatistical Methodology and Implementation on Cancer Clinical and Genetic Research
Speaker:  Dr. Wei Xu, University of Toronto/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Date:      August, 2019
Topic:     Development of an Integrated System for Clustering of Simple and Bipartite Graphs and its Application to Different Types of Biological Data (Research Seminar)

Speaker: Dr. Md. Altaf-Ul-Amin, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), Japan

2018 - 2019

Date:       June, 2019
Topic:     Feature Selection Bias in Assessing the Predictivity of SNPs for Alzheimer’s Disease (Research Seminar)
Speaker: Dr. Longhai Li (Department of Statistics of the University of Sastchewan)  

Date:      May, 2019
Topic:     Deep Learning: An Introduction and Recent Advances (Journal Club)
Speaker: Dr. Yang Wang (Department of Computer Science, UM)

Date:       April, 2019
Topic:     Interpretable Deep Learning Models for Scoring Protein-Liagand in Drug Discovery (Journal Club)
Speaker: Yuhua Fang (College of Pharmacy, UM)
               Md Mohaiminul Islam (Department of Computer Science, UM)  

Date:      March, 2019
Topic:     Deep Learning Models For Bacteria Taxonomic Classification Of Metagenomic Data (Journal Club)
Speaker: Dr. Julie Chih-Yu Chen (National Microbiology Laboratory)

Date:       February, 2019
Topic:     Computational Deconvolution Methods For Estimating Cell Populations From Transcriptomics Data (Journal Club)
Speaker: Munaweera Arachchilage Inesh Prabuddha (Department of Statistics, UM)
               YongWon Jin (Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, UM)

Date:      January, 2019
Topic:    Integrating Multi-Omics Data Using Regularized Regression Models (Journal Club)
Speaker: Shujun Huang (College of Pharmacy, UM), Lin Xue (Department of Statistics, UM)

Date:     November, 2018
Topic:    Network-based Approaches for Disease Comorbidities Analysis (Journal Club)
Speaker: Barret Monchka (Department of Community Health Sciences, UM)

Date:      October, 2018
Topic:    Transcriptome Imputation Methods (Journal Club)
Speaker: Dr. Michelle Xiao-Qing Liu (Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics,UM),
               Dr. Sara Good (Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg)  

Date:       August, 2018
Topic:     Single‐cell transcriptomics – analyses across species, condi􀆟ons, & technologies (Journal Club)
Speaker: Shuo Jia (Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, UM)
               Rayhan Shikder (Department of Computer Science, UM)