In Memoriam: Zhumin Zhang

Zhumin Zhang, MS, PhD, a biostatistician II in the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, passed away suddenly on Thursday, November 10, 2022. She was a highly valued member of the department and she will be missed.

She leaves behind her beloved husband, Chen Ding, and her son. Zhumin doted on her son and supported him in pursuing all his interests, including golf, which is his particular passion.

She was a skilled and highly collaborative epidemiologist and biostatistician, with particular expertise and interest in the fields of epidemiology, nutrition, cystic fibrosis, and chronic pediatric diseases.

Zhumin earned multiple advanced degrees at UW-Madison, including masters degrees in biometry and statistics, and a PhD in nutritional sciences.

Her professional accomplishments are impressive. She served as lead statistician and co-investigator on several sponsored projects. She co-authored more than 60 journal articles, 2 book chapters, and more than 35 meeting abstracts, often as the first author or corresponding author. Many of these attracted national recognition and changed the clinical practice for treating cystic fibrosis. She was also a reviewer and member of the editorial board for the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

She contributed significantly to research on children’s disease. Her current projects were:

  1. NIH-funded Children’s Respiratory Research and Environment Workgroup (CREW) with Professors James Gern and Ron Gangnon
  2. Cancer Prevention Clinical trials Network (CP-CTNet) Data Management and Coordinating Center (DMACC) with Professor KyungMann Kim.

Her roles on these projects were varied.

Her work with Dr. Kim and the DMACC focused on quality assurance, preparation, and transfer of limited data sets for the Cancer Prevention Clinical trials Network.

The CREW study group worked together to identify the projects that need support and decide whose skills and availability best met the need of he project. She also prepared data for any CREW consortium requests provided analytic support for the UW PIs that participate in the project. At the time of her death, Zhumin was working on food allergy analyses.

She was also actively involved the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC) with Professors Glenn Liu and Mark Ritter.

Zhumin was an amazing person and we will miss her.

Service Details

The visitation and funeral will be held on Tuesday, November 29, at Cress Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 3325 E. Washington Ave.

The visitation begins at 1 pm and the funeral service is at 3 pm.

If you wish to contribute to the Cress Funeral Service tribute wall for Zhumin, you may do so here:

More Remembrances

“My heart sinks as I write this but I cannot help remember how incredibly supportive, thoughtful, and kind Zhumin was to a young researcher supporting the Nutritional Sciences Dept. at the University of Wisconsin.

I was a recent graduate and I was still getting my feet underneath me but that didn’t matter to Zhumin. I was an office mate and a collaborator so that meant I was treated with respect, kindness, compassion, and dignity by her. We talked about our families, statistical analyses, and our favorite foods to make. It didn’t matter the topic – it was always a wonderful experience with her. She helped me publish my first academic manuscript and I will always remember how she pushed us to think diligently, thoughtfully about our work.

My prayers and heartfelt support go out to her family, her friends, and her colleagues during this incredibly difficult time.

Thank you for accepting these powerful memories that have come up as I think about her passing.”

– Jacob Tanumihardjo

“I had the great pleasure of collaborating with Zhumin when she worked with Professor Lai’s team in Nutritional Sciences. It was shocking to learn about her untimely death — such a great loss for the world. Zhumin was probably the most cheerful researcher I ever collaborated with in our cystic fibrosis projects. Her smile and efficient, skillful style enhanced many days for me no matter what challenges we faced with data management and analyses. Consequently, I always looked forward to spending time with Zhumin. She was unique in many ways and will be sorely missed.” – Phil Farrell

Remembering Zhumin

Please submit any memories you would like to share by sending an email directly to Sue Carlson at

“She was an extremely devoted parent and supported her son in all his interests, including many trips to the area golf courses.” – Kris Lee

“Although I did not know Zhumin well, her smile and cheerful greeting always made my day. I will miss her presence.” – Sue Carlson

“I am deeply grateful for Zhumin’s expert assistance and thoughtful support guiding one of our graduate students in our Genetic Counselor Studies Program through the analysis of her research data last year. I appreciate all of the helpful advice and the analyses she provided. My heartfelt condolences to her family and colleagues across SMPH.” – Liz Petty

“Zhumin was a remarkable, bright, kind, sweet, generous person. She was a wonderful colleague and collaborator. She was a very supportive and caring mother to her beloved son. It was a joy to have known her, and I am very grateful for the time we shared.” – Roxana Alexandridis

“Zhumin was always eager to assist with any project we asked her to help with.  She was a member of our Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network (CP-CTNet) Data Management, Auditing and Coordinating Center (DMACC) team and she will certainly be missed. We will reflect on the beautiful life she lived and be reminded of the lessons that she passed on to us, and more importantly be inspired – by her memory – to live life fully while we can.” – Kelly Miller

“I worked with Zhumin in the Nutritional Sciences Dept and shared office space with her. I enjoyed hearing about her day to day happenings with her son (as a mother of a young son myself at the time), and her family and relatives in China. I can remember when she and her son started golf lessons. She was very motherly and fussed over me when I was pregnant with my daughter.  Always concerned with my well-being. Zhumin routinely had a cheerful greeting in the morning, and a good-bye in the afternoon. She often used pencil, and there would be notes all around her desk with numbers, way beyond anything I had a clue about.  She would stop in the midst of what she was doing, to help anyone that needed assistance in what they were doing.  My deepest sympathies to her family.” – Taiya Bach

“Zhumin was always supportive to her colleagues and thoughtful of others. It was always a pleasure to talk with her. I have great memories of working with her in the Cystic Fibrosis and COAST study groups and in BMI for over a decade. Her passing is a great loss to us and to our department.” – Zhanhai Li

“I was gutted to learn of Zhumin’s passing. What an exceptionally smart, incredibly kind and infectiously positive individual. She was a pleasure to work with and I’m sure that many will feel her loss greatly both personally and professionally.” – Anonymous

“Zhumin has helped our childhood asthma research group with many fine analyses over the years. She was always a joy to work with: cheerful, efficient, astute, and a positive influence and presence. We are so sorry to hear of her passing, and will miss her dearly.” – Jim Gern