Rui Feng, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor of Biostatistics in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Senior Scholar, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Department: Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Contact information
423 Guardian Drive
209 Blockley Hall
Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-4473
Fax: 215-573-4865
B.S. (Mathematics)
University of Science and Technology of China, 1999.
M.S. (Statistics)
The Johns Hopkins University, 2001.
Ph.D. (Biostatistics)
Yale University, 2005.
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Description of Research Expertise

Ongoing Methodological Research
Dr. Feng’s current research focuses on exploring and improving the potential of deep learning methodologies, for structured input variables in biomedical research. Her recent development of the peel learning model, structure-guided transformer models, and redefined interpretability, contribute to ongoing efforts to address pragmatic challenges such as limited sample sizes and the underutilization of correlations among predictors.

Past Contributions in Genetics and Genomics
In the past, Dr. Feng has been devoted to statistical modeling for complex and high-dimensional genetic and genomic studies. Her early contributions include innovative models for testing familial segregation, gene mapping, and adjustment for sampling bias in ordinal traits. Later, she developed multiple haplotype-based methods for joint SNP-CNV calling, analysis of parent-of-origin effects in SNP and sequence data, instrumental variable selection, and high-dimensional causal inference.

Leadership in Multi-Center Clinical Studies
Dr. Feng has directed the design and data management of several high-impact multi-center clinical studies, including a pediatric study of the respiratory outcomes of extremely preterm infants (PROP, 2010-2016), a trial of novel Peg-IFN-a2b treatment in HIV patients (BEAT-HIV, 2013-2018), a multicenter pragmatic trial to evaluate the surgery outcomes of hip-fracture patients receiving spinal vs. general anesthesia (REGAIN, 2015-2021), a phase-II Lenabasum treatment trial in dermatomyositis (Lenabasum, 2015-2018), a phase-II trial to determine the effectiveness of anastrozole on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PHANTOM, 2016-2022), and a stepped-wedge clustered randomized trial of nudges to reduce benzodiazepine use in senior surgical patients (DROP-BENZO, 2022-24). These projects have set high standards in data quality and have been instrumental in producing high-impact publications in top-tier medical journals.

Mentorship and Academic Leadership
Dr. Feng has mentored over 20 medical fellows, numerous Master’s and Ph.D. students, and 4 postdoctoral fellows, guiding them through successful research careers. Since joining Penn Biostatistics in August 2009—following her faculty appointment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham—she has continued to foster a rich environment for academic growth and innovation.

Dr. Feng currently serves as the Treasurer of the International Chinese Statistical Association (ICSA).

Selected Publications

Vail EA, Feng R, Sieber F, Carson JL, Ellenberg SS, Magaziner J, Dillane D, Marcantonio ER, Sessler DI, Ayad S, Stone T, Papp S, Donegan D, Mehta S, Schwenk ES, Marshall M, Jaffe JD, Luke C, Sharma B, Azim S, Hymes R, Chin KJ, Sheppard R, Perlman B, Sappenfield J, Hauck E, Tierney A, Horan AD, Neuman MD; REGAIN (Regional versus General Anesthesia for Promoting Independence after Hip Fracture) Investigators.: Long-term outcomes with spinal versus general anesthesia for hip fracture surgery: A randomized trial. Anesthesiology 140(3): 375-386, March 2024.

Liu J, Pan M, Sun M, Shi H, Feng R. : Nutritional Status and Physical Exercise Are Associated with Cognitive Function in Chinese Community-Dwelling Older Adults: The Role of Happiness. Nutrients 16(2): 203, Jan 2024.

Kawut, S. M., Feng, R., Ellenberg, S. S., Zamanian, R., Bull, T., Chakinala, M., Mathai, S. C., Hemnes, A., Lin, G., Doyle, M., Andrew, R., MacLean, M., Stasinopoulos, I., Austin, E., DeMichele, A., Song, N., Moutchia, J., Ventetuolo, C. E. : Pulmonary Hypertension and Anastrozole (PHANTOM): A Randomized, Double blind, Placebo-controlled Trial American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2024 Notes: In print.

Liu J, Yang Y, Shi H, Sun M, Feng R; Finger Exercise Group.: Developing and evaluating a mindfulness-based finger/hand exercise intervention for ethnically diverse older adults with and without disabilities: A feasibility study. Geriatr Nurs. 56: 148-158, 2024.

Kyra O’Brien, Rui Feng, Frederick Sieber, Edward R. Marcantonio, Ann Tierney, Jay Magaziner, Jeffrey L. Carson, Derek Dillane, Daniel I. Sessler, Diane Menio, Sabry Ayad, Trevor Stone, Steven Papp, Eric S. Schwenk, Mitchell Marshall, J. Douglas Jaffe, Charles Luke, Balram Sharma, Syed Azim, Robert Hymes, Ki-Jinn Chin, Richard Sheppard, Barry Perlman, Joshua Sappenfield, Ellen Hauck, Mark A. Hoeft, Jason Karlawish, Samir Mehta, Derek J. Donegan, Annamarie Horan, Susan S. Ellenberg, Mark D. Neuman : Outcomes with spinal versus general anesthesia for patients with and without preoperative cognitive impairment: secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association 19(9): 4008-4019, Sep 2023.

Neuman MD, Feng R, Carson JL, Gaskins LJ, Dillane D, Sessler DI, Sieber F, Magaziner J, Marcantonio E, Mehta S, Menio D, Ayad S, Stone T, Papp S, Schwenk ES, Elkassabany N, Marshall M, Jaffe JD, Luke C, Sharma B, Azim S, Hymes R, Chin K-J, Sheppard R, Perlman B, Sappenfield J, Hauck E, Hoeft MA, Giska M, Ranganath Y, Tedore T, Choi S, Li J, Kwofie MK, Nader A, Sanders RD, Allen BFS, Vlassakov K, Kates S, Fleisher LA, Dattilo J, Tierney A, Stephens-Shields AJ, Ellenberg S: Spinal Anesthesia Versus General Anesthesia for Hip Surgery in Older Adults New England Journal of Medicine 385(22): 2025-2035, Nov 2021.

Li Y, Wang F, Yan M, Cantu E, Yang FN, Rao H, Feng R: Peel Learning for Pathway-Related Outcome Prediction. Bioinformatics 37(22): 4108-4114, Nov 2021.

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Last updated: 07/23/2024
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