Kai Yu, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Biostatistics Branch


9609 Medical Center Drive
Room SG/7E114
Rockville, MD 20850



Research Topics

Dr. Kai Yu's research addresses a wide variety of statistically and computationally challenging problems that have arisen in design and analysis of modern high-dimensional genetic and molecular epidemiologic studies, including:

  • Statistical methods for genetic epidemiology studies
  • Tree-based models and applications in molecular epidemiology studies
  • MCMC algorithms and applications in genetic studies
  • Population genetics


Dr. Yu received a Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, and had postdoctoral training in statistical genetics at Stanford University. He worked as a statistical geneticist at a biopharmaceutical company before becoming a Research Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined NCI in 2005 as a tenure-track investigator, and was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH and appointed senior investigator in 2013. Dr. Yu received an NIH merit award in 2009.

Selected Publications

  1. Li D, Duell EJ, Yu K, Risch HA, Olson SH, Kooperberg C, Wolpin BM, Jiao L, Dong X, Wheeler B, Arslan AA, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Fuchs CS, Gallinger S, Gross M, Hartge P, Hoover RN, Holly EA, Jacobs EJ, Klein AP, LaCroix A, Mandelson MT, Petersen G, Zheng W, Agalliu I, Albanes D, Boutron-Ruault MC, Bracci PM, Buring JE, Canzian F, Chang K, Chanock SJ, Cotterchio M, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci EL, Goggins M, Hallmans G, Hankinson SE, Hoffman Bolton JA, Hunter DJ, Hutchinson A, Jacobs KB, Jenab M, Khaw KT, Kraft P, Krogh V, Kurtz RC, McWilliams RR, Mendelsohn JB, Patel AV, Rabe KG, Riboli E, Shu XO, TjĂžnneland A, Tobias GS, Trichopoulos D, Virtamo J, Visvanathan K, Watters J, Yu H, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Amundadottir L, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ. Pathway analysis of genome-wide association study data highlights pancreatic development genes as susceptibility factors for pancreatic cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2012;33(7):1384-90.

  2. Yu K, Wacholder S, Wheeler W, Wang Z, Caporaso N, Landi MT, Liang F. A flexible Bayesian model for studying gene-environment interaction. PLoS Genet. 2012;8(1):e1002482.

  3. Zhang H, Shi J, Liang F, Wheeler W, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, Yu K. A fast multilocus test with adaptive SNP selection for large-scale genetic-association studies. Eur J Hum Genet. 2014;22(5):696-702.

  4. Yu K, Zhang H, Wheeler W, Horne HN, Chen J, Figueroa JD. A robust association test for detecting genetic variants with heterogeneous effects. Biostatistics. 2015;16(1):5-16.

This page was last updated on October 20th, 2020