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IU School of Medicine names new chair to lead Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science

Kun Huang biostatistics and health data

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana University School of Medicine has appointed Kun Huang, PhD, as chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science, effective October 1, 2021.

Huang brings a tremendous amount of research, education and leadership experience to the role. He currently serves as vice chair for data science and professor with the department. 

Since coming to IU School of Medicine in 2017, Huang has held a number of leadership roles across many areas of the school. He leads the Precision Health Initiative Data Science and Informatics group, and is the director of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Core for the TREAT-AD program for Alzheimer’s therapy development. The leader of the data science and informatics service for the National Cancer Institute Pediatric Cancer SPORE grant-funded research program, Huang also serves as associate director for data science at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Huang’s leadership has extended schoolwide through his role as assistant dean for data science, as well as a member of the executive council of the Regenstrief Institute. He has built a leading research program in translational data science, integrating imaging, genomics and clinical data with continuous federal funding, high-impact publications, award-winning methodologies and successful trainees. 

Huang earned his undergraduate degrees at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and went on to complete his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning three master’s degrees and his PhD in electrical and computer engineering. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). 

Huang began his academic career in 2004 as an assistant professor with the Department of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he would go on to serve as associate professor, professor and associate dean for genome infomatics before joining IU School of Medicine in 2017.

Huang takes on this new leadership role at a time of incredible growth and opportunity for the Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science at IU School of Medicine, which is currently ranked 12th in NIH funding among biostatistics departments nationally. 

“With an impressive track record of research excellence and collaboration, I am confident Dr. Huang is well-positioned to lead the department into the future, and help make IU School of Medicine a leading-edge hub of biomedical research,” said IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA.

During the past decade, progresses in big data and precision medicine, along with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, have offered exciting new opportunities in biomedicine, which call for an integrated approach using statistics, informatics and computing.

Recognizing this, IU School of Medicine incorporated data science faculty from the IU Precision Health Initiative Data Science and Informatics group into the biostatistics department, creating the combined Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science on January 1, 2021.

The department also has educational responsibilities in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. Additionally, Huang will hold the Precision Health Initiative Professor of Genomics Data Sciences endowed appointment.

“Over the years, we have developed a large team of talented researchers with highly successful collaborations, as well as three education programs covering undergraduate to PhD training. As chair of the newly named Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science, it is my great honor to lead continued collaborative efforts toward our shared goal of establishing a world-leading biostatistics and translational data science program,” Huang said.


About IU School of Medicine

IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.

About Fairbanks School of Public Health

Located on the IUPUI and Fort Wayne campuses, the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is committed to advancing the public’s health and well-being through education, innovation and leadership. The Fairbanks School of Public Health is known for its expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, cancer research, community health, environmental public health, global health, health policy and health services administration.