315 Savage Hall
Dr. Zhong is a nutritional epidemiologist who also has research experiences in omics and health informatics. The overarching goal of Dr. Zhong’s research program is to advance our understanding of the etiology, progression, and management of cardiometabolic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Highly interdisciplinary approaches have been used spanning the following disciplines: nutrition, epidemiology, omics, and health informatics.
Dr. Zhong has used a variety of data from prospective cohort studies (e.g., MESA, CARDIA, SEARCH), UK Biobank, and electronic health record databases (e.g., CPRD). Most of the data sets used have either big sample size, high-dimension, or both. Relevant work has been published in JAMA (Top 10 article by the Altmetric score in JAMA), Diabetes Care (Highlighted in the Cover), Human Molecular Genetics (Top 2 article by the Altmetric score in HMG), and other journals. Research findings have been reported by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNN, and many other major news outlets.
Dr. Zhong holds an adjunct assistant professor appointment in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Zhong has received several early-career awards including
- Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Early Career Investigator Award from the American Heart Association.
- Roger R. Williams Award for Genetic Epidemiology and the Prevention and Treatment of Atherosclerosis from the American Heart Association.
- Predoctoral Fellowship Award from the American Society for Nutrition.
Research interests: nutrition, epidemiology, omics, cardiometabolic diseases and risk factors
Generally, research projects in Dr. Zhong’s group use big sample size or high-dimensional data sets, focusing on nutritional and epidemiologic studies of cardiometabolic diseases and risk factors. A variety of interdisciplinary methodologies are applied. Some projects are listed below.
- Determining the associations of nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns with cardiometabolic diseases and mortality using the following data resources
- A pooled data set combining a number of prospective cohort studies of US adults, including ARIC, CARDIA, CHS, FHS, FOS, JHS, and MESA
- Publicly available data sets such as NHANES
- Investigating the association between mitochondrial DNA and cardiometabolic health and whether this association can be modified by nutritional factors
- A metabolome-wide association study of incident type 2 diabetes
- Including the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) as the discovery cohort and the Rotterdam Study as the replication cohort
- Analyzing untargeted NMR data that consist of 61,180 variables
- Genetic risk, healthy lifestyle, lifetime risk of chronic disease, and compression of morbidities: a life course approach
- Zhong VW, Kuang A, Danning RD, van Dam RM, Chasman DI, Cornelis MC. A genome-wide association study of bitter and sweet beverage consumption. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Jul 15;28(14):2449-2457. (Ranked # 2 among all HMG articles tracked by the Altmetric)
- Zhong VW, Juhaeri J, Cole SR, Shay CM, Gordon-Larsen P, Kontopantelis E, Mayer-Davis EJ. Proximal HbA1C level and first hypoglycemia hospitalization in adults with incident type 2 diabetes: a nested case-control study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Jun 1;104(6):1989-1998.
- Zhong VW, Van Horn L, Cornelis MC, Wilkins JT, Ning H, Carnethon MR, Greeland P, Mentz RJ, Tucker KL, Zhao L, Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB. Associations of dietary cholesterol or egg consumption with incident cardiovascular disease and mortality. JAMA. 2019 Mar 29;321(11):1081-1095. (Ranked # 8 among all JAMA articles tracked by the Altmetric)
- Zhong VW, Bancks MP, Schreiner PJ, Lewis CE, Steffen LM, Meigs JB, Schrader LA, Schorr M, Miller KK, Sidney S, Carnethon MR. Insulin resistance since early adulthood and appendicular lean mass in middle-aged adults without diabetes: 20 years of the CARDIA study. J Diabetes Complications. 2019 Jan;33(1):84-90.
- Zhong VW, Juhaeri J, Mayer-Davis EJ. Trends in hospital admission for diabetic ketoacidosis in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in England, 1998-2013: a retrospective cohort study. Diabetes Care. 2018 Sep;41(9):1870-1877. (Highlighted in the Cover)
- Zhong VW, Juhaeri J, Cole SR, Shay CM, Gordon-Larsen P, Kontopantelis E, Mayer-Davis EJ. HbA1C variability and hypoglycemia hospitalization in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes: a nested case-control study. J Diabetes Complications. 2018 Feb;32(2):203-209.
- Zhong VW, Juhaeri J, Cole SR, Kontopantelis E, Shay CM, Gordon-Larsen P, Mayer-Davis EJ. Incidence and temporal trends in hypoglycemia hospitalization in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in England, 1998 to 2013: a retrospective cohort study. Diabetes Care. 2017 Dec;40(12):1651-1660.
- Zhong VW, Crandell JL, Shay CM, Gordon-Larsen P, Cole SR, Juhaeri J, Kahkoska AR, Maahs DM, Seid M, Forlenza GP, Mayer-Davis EJ. Dietary intake and risk of non-severe hypoglycemia in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. J Diabetes Complications. 2017 Aug;31(8):1340-1347.
- Zhong VW, Obeid JS, Craig JB, Pfaff ER, Thomas J, Jaacks LM, Beavers DP, Carey TS, Lawrence JM, Dabelea D, Hamman RF, Bowlby DA, Pihoker C, Saydah SH, Mayer-Davis EJ. An efficient approach for surveillance of childhood diabetes by type derived from electronic health record data: the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2016 Nov;23(6):1060-1067.
- Zhong VW, Lamichhane AP, Crandell JL, Couch SC, Liese AD, The NS, Tzeel BA, Dabelea D, Lawrence JM, Marcovina SM, Kim G, Mayer-Davis EJ. Association of adherence to a Mediterranean diet with glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in youth with type I diabetes: the SEARCH Nutrition Ancillary Study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul;70(7):802-7.
- Zhong VW, Pfaff ER, Beavers DP, Thomas J, Jaacks LM, Bowlby DA, Carey TS, Lawrence JM, Dabelea D, Hamman RF, Pihoker C, Saydah SH, Mayer-Davis EJ; Search for Diabetes in Youth Study Group. Use of administrative and electronic health record data for development of automated algorithms for childhood diabetes case ascertainment and type classification: the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. Pediatr Diabetes. 2014 Dec;15(8):573-84.
Graduate Field Membership: Nutrition, Computational Biology
Member: American Heart Association
Peer reviewer: JAMA, The BMJ, Annals of Internal Medicine, Diabetes Care, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The Journal of Nutrition, Diabetologia, American Journal of Epidemiology, and many others.
2017-2019: Postdoc, Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology, Northwestern University
2012-2016: Ph.D., Nutrition (major) & Epidemiology (minor), The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2006-2011: Bachelor of Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
Adjunct position at Northwestern University: https://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/faculty-profiles/az/profile.html?xid=45329
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=mscxzvwAAAAJ&hl=en