Headshot portrait of Biyao Zou - City Hill Foundation Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow
Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2020
Home Department: Epidemiology and Population Health
Faculty Advisors: Mindie H. Nguyen (Medicine – Gastroenterology & Hepatology) and Shan Xiang Wang (Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering)

Research Title: Development and Validation of a Methylated Cell-Free DNA Biomarker Screening Panel for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Early Detection in a Multicenter Cohort

Research Description: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Early HCC diagnosis increases survival, but the current HCC surveillance tests (ultrasound and serum alpha-fetoprotein) have suboptimal accuracy. The Nguyen and Wang labs have integrated meta-analysis and microarray data to identify certain methylated cell-free DNA biomarkers for HCC. Biyao will employ giant magnetoresistive biosensor technology to develop a rapid and low-cost multiplexed assay to screen and quantify these biomarkers, and then validate the accuracy of this HCC biomarker diagnostic in a well-characterized multicenter cohort. This interdisciplinary approach of computational modeling, bioinformatics, and biosensing techniques will pave the way to cost-effective and portable HCC surveillance based on highly accurate HCC biomarkers, and will improve HCC survival.


Biyao is an Associate at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that advises top management of Fortune 500 and other leading companies and institutions as well as governments and nonprofit organizations on issues of strategy, organization, technology and operations.