Currently, Professor Ji holds a tenured full professorship in biostatistics at the College of Population Health, University of New Mexico. Prior to this, he worked for 10 years at the College of Nursing, University of South Florida, 12 years at San Diego State University's Graduate School of Public Health, and 2 years at the University of California San Diego's School of Medicine. These varied experiences across medicine, public health, and nursing have been invaluable in developing effective communication skills and the ability to conduct collaborative research with scholars from different disciplines

Throughout his experience in various positions, Professor Ji has collaborated successfully with colleagues to secure external funding as a principal statistician and/or co-investigator. His main area of expertise focuses on developing the statistics sections of NIH grants, including study design, data management, randomization for clinical trials, and data analysis. In addition, He also served as a grant reviewer for NIH, CDC, state governments, and private foundations in the past.

Professor Ji is an expert in longitudinal data and missing data, specifically in relation to randomized controlled trials. He is skilled in using R, SAS, and SPSS and has a working knowledge of STATA and MPLUS. Professor Ji has an extensive understanding of multilevel modeling, complex surveys, propensity scores, and latent class analysis. He has published more than one hundred peer-reviewed papers and has been invited to speak at events such as the National Alzheimer's Coordination Center's 2011 Annual Meeting. He was also the 2015 Summer Scholar at the U.S Census Bureau and currently serves on the Editorial Board of Contemporary Clinical Trials. Recently, Professor Ji has expanded his work to include machine learning, big data, and AI. He collaborated with the USF Computer Science program to secure an NSF infrastructure grant to build a GPU cluster and obtained funding from the USF Institute of Microbiome to build a small HIPPA-compliant GPU cluster. Both clusters are available to USF researchers who use HPC (High-Performance Computing) in their research work. In 2020, Professor Ji was the PI of a grant for USF's Rapid Response to COVID, developing Spatio-Temporal Prediction Models for COVID (STPMCOVID) using multilevel Poisson models. The STPMCOVID model has been accepted by the CDC COVID Forecast Hub. Currently, Professor Ji is working on text mining/NLP of nursing notes and predictive modeling using both structured and unstructured data, as well as predicting acute events using sensor data. Professor Ji has been integrally involved in developing and teaching the statistics curriculum for PhD students in nursing at USF’s College of Nursing. His other previous teaching experiences also include entry-level and advanced biostatistics courses for public health students, as well as teaching a clinical trial course for over 10 years.

Professor Ji demonstrated his leadership skills by establishing and running a biostatistics consulting lab at San Diego State University for a year. He was the group leader of the biostatistics group in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at SDSU's Graduate School of Public Health. During his time at USF, he actively collaborated with other disciplines on campus. Professor Ji was on the Management Team at the USF Institute of Microbiome and a member of the AI+X Institute at the College of Computer Science and Engineering.

Personal Statement

Professor Ji's research interest is in developing rigorous and practical statistical methods for study designs and data analysis with significant importance in health, medicine, nursing, biotechnology and other fields.

Areas of Specialty

  • Control Theory (System identification and Adaptive Control)
  • Biostatistics
  • Clinical Trials
  • Medical Screening Tests
  • Complex Data Analysis (Microarray, Microbiome, Complex Survey, Multilevel Data, Missing Data, Causal Inferences)
  • Machine Learning and AI Algorithms
  • Health Behavior and Health Promotion (Cancer Prevention, Tobacco Control, Physical Activity, Obesity)


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics, University of California, Davis, 1999
    Concentration: Biostatistics
    Dissertation:     Statistical Issues in Medical Screening Tests
  • Master of Sciences in Mathematics, Kansas State University, 1995
    Concentration: Mathematics
  • Master of Sciences in Applied Mathematics, East China Normal University, 1988
    Concentration: Control System Theory
    Thesis:  Robustness of Adaptive Control Systems
  • Bachelor of Sciences in Mathematics, East China Normal University, 1985
    Concentration: Mathematics

Achievements & Awards

  • Research Fellowship in Cancer Prevention and Control  Cancer Research Foundation of America, 2001—2003.  Title: Statistical Models for Evaluation of Anti-Smoking Media Campaign. Principal Investigator. $60,000
  • Faculty Development Award  San Diego State University, 2002-2003, Title: Non-ignorable Missing Data Models for Cognitive Decline among Alzheimer’s disease Patients. Principal Investigator.  $1200
  • Faculty Grant in Aid    San Diego State University, 2002-2003,  Title: Statistical Analysis of Microarray Data for Finding Differentially Expressed Genes in Prostate Cancer versus Normal Tissues.  Principal Investigator. $7283
  • NATA Foundation Grant Funding Program 2002-2003, Title:  High School Sports Injury Patterns among Girls: Trend and Risk Factors. Investigator. $17,603
  • California University-wide AIDS Program 2000-2003, Title: Support to Promote Latino HIV/AIDS Research in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Consulting Statistician. $990,226
  • California Universitywide AIDS Program 2003-2006, Title: Entre Fronteras:  Behavioral Science Research Informing HIV/AIDS Control in Binational and Border Region Latino Populations. Co-investigator. $1,050,000
  • Faculty Research, Scholarship, Create Activity Award 2002-2003, Title: Home Smoking Policy and Children’s ETS Exposure. Principal Investigator. $4774
  • Dean’s Research Grant Award 2003-2004, Title: Marketing Strategies for Internet Anti-Smoking Media Campaigns Targeting Adolescents. Principal Investigator. $5000
  • GEO Center Consulting Contract 2003, Provide statistical expertise in epidemiological research studies. Consulting statistician. $34,660
  • CDC Prevention Research Center Grant 2004-2008, Title: Promotion of Physical Activity in the Latino Community. Co-Investigator. $4,231,115
  • Faculty Research, Scholarship, Create Activity Award 2003-2004, Title: Ceiling and Floor Effects of Cognitive Function Measurements in Longitudinal Studies of Alzheimer’s disease. Principal Investigator. $4774
  • SDSU Faculty International Travel Award  2003, Title: International Health Program in Shanghai, China.  Co-PI  $3800.
  • SDSU Faculty International Travel Award  2004, Title: Developing International Health Education and Research Program in China. Co-PI $2900
  • SDSU/UCSD Cancer Partnership Pilot Project Grant  2004-2005, Title: Genomic Instability and Survival in African Americans with Rectal Cancer. Co-Investigator $120,000
  • Center of Disease Control Special Interest Project 2005-2007, Title: Pedometers and Step Counters for Physical Activity Promotion Project. Co-Investigator, $551,611
  • Center of Disease Control Special Interest Project 2004-2005, Title: Fitness and Exercise for People with Arthritis. Co-Investigator, $375,381
  • Faculty Research, Scholarship, Create Activity Award  2004-2005, Title: Combining Multiple Longitudinal Markers for Disease Screening. Principle Investigator, $12,731
  • Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program 2005-2008, Title: Water pipe use, ETS exposure & home policy in Arab Americans. Co-Investigator, $270,000
  • Universitywide AIDS Research Program 2004-2007, Title: Social marketing to reach non-gay identified Latino men who have sex with men. Co-Investigator: $749,500
  • Universitywide AIDS Research Program 2004-2006, Title:  Improving HIV/AIDS Screening and Education for Limited English Proficiency Latinos Through Clinician Cultural Competency Training, Co-Investigator: $56,246
  • Future Forum Research Grant 2005-2006, Title: Detection of endothelial dysfunction and emerging risk factors for metabolic syndrome in relation to usual dietary intake and physical activity levels in college students. Co-Investigator: $40,000
  • NIH/NHLBI 2003-2008, Title: Promoting Adherence To TB Regimens in High-Risk Youth.  Co-Investigator: $1,200,000
  • NIH 2003-2008: Title: Environmental Tobacco Exposure (ETS) Reduction in High-Risk Preteens: A Controlled Trial. Co-Investigator: $1,300,000
  • NIH/NCI 2004-2009, Title:  Smoking and ETS: CA Residents of Korean Descent. Co-Investigator: $2,717,988
  • Faculty Research, Scholarship, Create Activity Award  2005-2006, Title: Multilevel Modeling Guided by the Behavioral and Ecological Model. Principle Investigator, $6,193
  • NIH/NHLBI 2006-2009, Title: Pharmacogenetics of lipid response to estrogen therapy. Co-Investigator, $1,200,000
  • NIH/NCI 2008-2009. Title: Colorectal Cancer Screening. Co-Investigator, $250,000
  • NIH/Hispanic Health Study 2007 – 2015, Title: San Diego Hispanic Community Health. Co-Investigator, $7,501,249
  • NIH/LUNA Study 2008-2012, Title: San Diego EXPORT. Co-Investigator, $5,494,461
  • CDC R18 Grant 2009-2012, Title: A Translation Study of the Academia da Cidade program (ACP). Co-Investigator, $1,350,000
  • Peers for Progress  2009-2011,  Title: Alliance to Control Diabetes. Co-Investigator, $805,000
  • California Breast Cancer Program 2008-2011, Title: Increasing Mammography for Latinas. Co-Investigator, $169,099
  • NIH/NCI R01 2010-2014, Title: El Valor de Nuestra Salud. Co-Investigator, $410,488
  • CDC 2011-2015, Title: An Ecological Approach to Addressing Obesity in Imperial County. Co-Investigator,  $6,275,000/$1,750,000
  • NIH 2015-2020 Title: The Preterm Infant Microbiome: Biological, Behavioral and Health Outcomes at 2 and 4 years of Age (R01). (PI: Maureen Groer)  My Role: Co-I, $3,300,000
  • NSF 2015 Title: NSF Computing Research Infrastructure Award. (PI: Yicheng Tu)  My Role: Co-I, $600,000 
  • Industry. Title: Apixaban for Early Prevention of Recurrent Embolic Stroke and Hemorrhagic Transformation (ARREST) trial. (PI: Arthur Labovitz). My Role: Consultant, $1,300,000
  • US Census Bureau. Title: SUMMER SCHOLAR at CENSUS 2015.  My Role: PI, $5000
  • NIDDK 2015-2020 Title:  Predictors of Weight Loss Failure and Regain in Bariatric Surgery Patients (R01).  My Role:  USF Site PI, $3,102,911
  • USF Faculty World Travel Grant. 2015-2016. My Role: PI, $2500
  • NINR 2016-2020  Title: Reorientation Intervention for Delirium in the ICU (R01). My Role: USF Site PI, $1,800,000
  • NIA 2017-2020 Title: Interventions to Attenuate Cognitive Decline (R01). My Role: Co-I, $739,503
  • NICHD 2017-2022 Title: Chronic toxoplasma gondii, pregnancy reactivation, and perinatal depression (R01). My Role: Co-I. $559,978
  • USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Grant Award Round Three 2021-2022 Title: Spatio-Temporal Prediction Models for COVID-19. My Role: PI. $25,000
  • NIMHD 2020-2024 Title: The Bariatric Experience Long Term (BELONG) II for Racial and Ethnic Minority Patients. My Role: USF Site PI $711,095
  • NCI 2020-2024 Title: Home-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Taxane-Induced CIPN. My Role: co-Investigator  $485,728

Key Publications

  • Ji M, Negriff SL, Slezak JM, Taylor BL, Paz SR, Bhakta BB, Macias M, Arterburn DE, Crawford CL, Drewnowski A, Lewis KH, Moore DD, Murali SB, Young DR, Coleman KJ. Baseline Psychosocial, Environmental, Health, and Behavioral Correlates of 1- and 3-Year Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery. Obes Surg. 2023 Aug 23. doi: 10.1007/s11695-023-06791-0. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37612577.
  • Choi JM, Ji M., Watson LT, Zhang L. DeepMicroGen: a generative adversarial network-based method for longitudinal microbiome data imputation. Bioinformatics. 2023 Apr 26:btad286. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btad286. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37099704.
  • Ji X, Covington LB, Patterson F, Ji M., Brownlow JA. Associations between sleep and overweight/obesity in adolescents vary by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. J Adv Nurs. 2022 Nov 28. doi: 10.1111/jan.15513. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36443810.
  • Ayala, GX, Pickrel, JL, Baquero, B, Sanchez-Flack, J, Lin, SF, Belch, G, Rock, CL, Linnan, L, Gittelsohn, J, Ji, M., Elder, JP, Mayer, J. The El Valor de Nuestra Salud clustered randomized controlled trial store-based intervention to promote fruit and vegetable purchasing and consumption. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. (2022) 19:19
  • Groer, M., Miller, E. M., Sarkar, A., Dishaw, L. J., Dutra, S. V., Youn Yoo, J., Morgan, K., Ji, M., & Ho, T. (2020). Predicted Metabolic Pathway Distributions in Stool Bacteria in Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infants: Potential Relationships with NICU Faltered Growth. Nutrients, 12(5), 1345.
  • Ji M., Ding D, Hovell M, Xiao X, Pinpin Zhen, Fu H. Home Smoking Ban in an urbanizing community in China.   American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2009; 37(2):132-6
  • Ji M., Chengjie Xiong, Elizabeth Gilpin and Lois Biener. Assessing the Effectiveness of Anti-Smoking Media Campaigns by Recall and Rating Scores: A Pattern-Mixture GEE Approach. Journal of Data Science, 2007, 5, 23-40
  • Ji M., NMeby Bekele, William Huster, Wesley Johnson and David Rocke. External validation bias in the Tenenbein’s Double Sampling Estimator of Prevalence. Far East Journal of Theoretical Statistics 2005, 16(2), 177-204
  • Ji M., Chengjie Xiong and Michael Grundman. Hypothesis testing of a change point during cognitive decline among Alzheimer’s disease patients. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Vol 5, Number 5, October 2003 p375-382 PMID14646028


  • English, Mandarin


  • Clinical Trials
  • Statistics Methods
  • Machine Learning and AI
  • Tobacco Control
  • Health Promotion
  • Infant Microbiome Studies
  • mHealth
  • ICU
  • Nursing Home Research
  • Bariatric Surgery Patients

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Application of Multivariate Statistics in Public Health
  • Analysis of Cohort Studies (Advanced Regression)
  • Clinical Trials
  • Design, Measurement and Analysis of Scientific Studies for Nursing Research (I,II,III,IV)