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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Kesheng Wang, PhD, MA, BS

Title: Professor
Department: Biobehavioral Health & Nursing Science
College of Nursing
Office: College of Nursing
University of South Carolina
1601 Greene Street, Room 628
Columbia, SC 29208-4001 
United States 
kesheng wang portrait


Dr. Wang received his BS in Biology from Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, China (1989); his MA in Plant Genetics and Breeding, with specializations in Biostatistics and Quantitative Genetics, from China Agricultural University, Beijing, China (1992); his PhD in Forest Genetics and Biometry, with specializations in Population Genetics and Biometry/Biostatistics from Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany (2001). He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biostatistics including Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics (2002-2006) from The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG), Program in Genetics and Genome Biology (GGB), SickKids Research Institute (RI), The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. 

Dr. Wang was a Research Associate (Biostatistician) at the Statistical Analysis Facility/TCAG, SickKids, Toronto, Canada (2007-2008). He worked as an Assistant Professor (2008-2014) and Associate Professor (2014-2019) in Biostatistics at the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Before joining USC, he worked as an Associate Professor (2019-2023) and a Full Professor (2023-2024) in Biostatistics at the School of Nursing, Health Sciences Center, West Virginia University (WVU). 


From 2008 to 2019 at ETSU, Dr. Wang taught five graduate-level courses: Biostatistics I and II, Categorical Data Analysis, Genetic Epidemiology, and SAS Programming with Application in Public Health. Furthermore, he taught topics in other graduate-level courses such as Advanced Multivariate Analysis, Clinical Design and Analysis, and Molecular Biology and Genomics. Moreover, he developed several independent study courses such as Epidemiologic Methods, Mixed Models and Multivariate Analysis in Clinical Trials and Survey Data, and Statistical Analysis in Genetic Epidemiology. 

From 2019 to 2024 at WVU, he taught three graduate-level courses: Statistics (for Masters’ students), Health Research Statistics I (for DNP and PhD students) and Health Research Statistics II (for PhD students) at the School of Nursing. 

He has mentored/co-mentored over 60 master’s level students (including MS students in Statistics, MPH students in Biostatistics or Epidemiology) and 40 doctoral students (including DrPH students in Public Health, DNP and PhD students in Nursing) on thesis, capstone project, and dissertation committees. 


  • Biostatistics and Machine Learning and Health Informatics
  • Bioinformatics and Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics/Statistical Genomics
  • Aging and Substance Use and Mental Health
  • Cancer Screening and Epidemiology

Dr. Wang’s research interests focus on theory and application of biostatistics, behavioral epidemiology, epidemiological methods, and genetic epidemiology/statistical genomics. He has considerable expertise in using SAS and SAS callable SUDAAN, SPSS/AMOS, and R packages in the analyses of large datasets in clinical trials, national surveys, genetic and genomic studies, and multi-omics data. Furthermore, he has contributed to the development and/or application of advanced statistical methods such as linear and non-linear mixed effect models, Poisson regression, longitudinal data analysis, survival models, multivariate data analysis [such as cluster analysis, factor analysis, principal component regression, latent class analysis, structural equation modeling (SEM), and machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) tools], meta-analysis, and Bayesian methods.

Computer Skills

  • Operating Systems: Windows, MS-DOS, and UNIX
  • Statistical Software: R, SAS, SAS callable SUDAAN, SPSS/AMOS, Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) package, G.Power, vennDetail, etc.
  • R Packages for Survey Data Analysis: survey, srvyr, svyVGAM, survival, ggplot2, and dplyr, etc.
  • R Packages for Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL): AdaBoost, Boruta, Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), Gradient Boosting (GB), H2O, Light Gradient Boosting Machine (LGBM), Logistic Regression (LR), neuralnet, Random Forest (RF), and support vector machines (SVMs) (caret, kernlab, and ROCR), etc.
  • Software for Analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Data: Bioconductor, BOWTIE, bsseq, DSS, EdgeR, GATK, Git, MACS, and SKAT, etc.    
  • Software for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics/Genomics: clusterProfiler, FBAT, HAPLOVIEW, Golden Helix:Genomic Data Analysis Software, PBAT, P2BAT, fastPHASE, PLINK, qvalue (R), QUANTO, and UNPHANSED.
  • Software for Population and Quantitative Genetics: ARLEQUIN, FSTAT, GENEPOP, POPGEN, POWERMARKER, QTL-CARTOGRAPHER, R/QTL, and SAS/Genetics.


Dr. Wang has presented his research at local, regional, national, and international conferences including the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting, the International Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Conference, the International Genetic Epidemiology Society (IGES) Annual Meeting, the International Neuroscience Nursing Research Symposium (INNRS), and the Society of Neuroscience (SFN) Annual Meeting.

Since 2003, he has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers, including more than 90 first-author and/or corresponding author articles. He has contributed to 10 book chapters or conference proceedings. He has been involved in more than 90 abstract submissions and more than 60 oral presentations.

Professional Service

Dr. Wang serves as a peer reviewer for multiple journals including Alcohol; American Journal on Addictions; American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neurophychiatric Genetics; Bioscience Reports; BMC Bioinformatics; BMC Medical Genetics, BMC Medical Genomics; BMC Nursing; BMC Psychiatry; BMC Public Health; BMJ Open; British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research; British Journal of Psychiatry; Computational Statistics and Data Analysis; DNA and Cell Biology; Disease Markers; Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports; European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience; Frontiers in Genetics - Statistical Genetics and Methodology; Gene; Genes, Brain and Behavior; Genetica; Human Genetics; Indian Journal of Medical Research; International Journal of Human Genetics; Journal of Affective Disorder; Journal of Addiction Medicine; Journal of Data Science, Journal of Molecular Genetics; Journal of Pediatric Genetics; Journal of Public Health; Medical Science; Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment; Nutrition Journal; PLoS ONE; Pharmacogenomics Journal; Psychoneuroendocrinology; Schizophrenia Research; Translational Cancer Research; World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

Professional Organizations:

  • American Public Health Association (APHA)
  • American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)
  • International Biometric Society (IBS)-Eastern North American Region (ENAR)
  • International Genetic Epidemiologic Society (IGES)

Editorial member:

  • Journal of Biometrics and Biostatistics
  • BMC Psychiatry (Section in Substance-Related Disorders, Addiction and Impulse Control)
  • BMC Medical Genomics (Section in Genomic Epidemiology)
  • Frontiers in Genetics (Section in Statistical Genetics and Methodology)

Research Studies (Selected)

Integrating GWAS and Proteomics Data to Unravel Genetic Susceptibility for Alzheimer's Disease. Healthy Americas Foundation. $10,000.00. 2024-2025. Role: Biostatistician.

Determining factors related to family home caregivers’ burden and health status. Benedum Palliative Care Funding. $3,500.00. 2023-2024. Role: Co-Investigator and Biostatistician.

Testing the Mediating Effect of Mood State on PAP Use and Health-related Quality of Life: Secondary Analysis of APPLES Data. Ruth and Robert Kuhn Nursing Faculty Research Award. $5,000.00. 2023-2024. Role: Co-Investigator and Biostatistician.

Impact of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 Allele, Lifestyles, and Cultural Factors on Cognitive Function in Hispanic Population. Rio Grande Valley Alzheimer´s Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research. $10,000. 2022-2023. Role: Biostatistician.

Reducing Stress and Improving Resilience and Self-Compassion of Nursing Students During a Pandemic West Virginia University Faculty Research and Scholarship Advancement. $7,500.00. 2021-2022. Role: Co-Investigator.

Home Care Needs of Caregivers and Patients with Heart Failure and Dementia in Rural Appalachia. NIH R15 3R15NR018547-01S1. $152,000.00. 2020-2023. Role: Co-Investigator.

Coaching End-of-Life Palliative Care for End-Stage Heart Failure Patients and Their Family Caregivers in Rural Appalachia. NIH R15 NR018547. $356,000.00. 2019-2023. Role: Safety Monitoring Committee (SMC) Member. 

ATR isomerization in cellular responses to UV damage of DNA in ovarian cancer. NIH R01 CA219342. $1,638,720.00. 2017-2023. Role: Co-Investigator.

Genome-wide association study of cerebrospinal fluid inflammation biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease. 3V914 Skaggs Family Dean’s Special Projects. $3,295.00. 2020-2021. Role: PI.    

Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease from the Connection Point of View. Virginia Pyne Kaneb Faculty Scholars Program Grant. $4,500.00. 2020-2021. Role: Co-Investigator.

Tim-3-mediated IL-12 dysregulation in antiviral response to HCV infection. NIH/NIDDK R01 DK093526-01. $1,776,000.00 for 5 years. 2013-2018. Role: Co-Investigator.

How Stribild action as an HIV antiretroviral drug is affected by genetic variations among patients. RDC Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grant. $50,000.00. 2015-2016. Role: Co-Investigator.

The role of NK cells in immunodysregulation by hepatitis C virus. NIH/NIAID R15 AI103828. $444,000.00. 2013-2016. Role: Co-Investigator.

Gender difference and parental influence in genetic association analysis of alcohol dependence. RDC Major Research Grant. $10,000.00. Role: PI.                     

Impact of the clinical decision on the rapidity of blood pressure goal attainment. RDC Major Research Grant. $10,000.00. 2009-2010.  Role: Co-Investigator.

Publications (Selected)

Wang K, Shafique S, Wang N, Walter SM, Xie X, Piamjariyakul U and Winstanley EL (2024) Early-onset alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use with age at onset of hypertension: a survival analysis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 59(7): 1129-1141. 

Xu C, Wang S, Su BB, Karithara A, Mao C, Dai Z and Wang K (2024) Associations of adolescent substance use and depression symptoms with adult major depressive disorder in the United States: NSDUH 2016-2019. Journal of Affective Disorders 344:397-406. 

Piamjariyakul U, Wang K, Smith M, Young S, Shafique S, Navia O and Williams K (2024) Family Caregiving of Patients with Heart Failure and Vascular Dementia in Rural Appalachia: A Mixed-Methods Study. Western Journal of Nursing Research 46(5): 344-355.

Wang K, Theeke LA, Liao C, Wang N, Lu Y, Xiao D and Xu C; ADNI (2023) Deep learning analysis of UPLC-MS/MS-based metabolomics data to predict Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neurological Sciences 453:120812.

Mao Q, Huang S, Luo X, Liu P, Wang X, Wang K, Zhang Y, Chen B and Luo X (2023) Spatial Multiomics Analysis in Psychiatric Disorders. EC Psychol Psychiatr. 12(6):1-5. 

Wang K, Xu C, Theeke LA, Xiao D, Luo X and Xie C; ADNI (2023) Linear mixed model analysis of polygenic hazard score on verbal memory decline in Alzheimer’s disease. Nursing Research 72(1): 66-73. 

Zhang P, Lu Y, Li Y, Wang K, An H and Tan Y (2023) Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis in schizophrenia with tardive dyskinesia: A preliminary study. Genes & Genomics 45(10): 1317-1328. 

Smothers A, Morrissey E, Melnick H, Beaver M, Wang K and Piamjariyakul U (2023) COVID-19 Caregiving Strategies, Quality of Life, and Stress Among Faith Community Nurses and Faith Leaders in Appalachia. Journal of Christian Nursing 40(1): 36-41. 

Wang K, DiChiacchio T, Fang W, Lander L, Feinberg J, Xie C, Winstanley EL and Piamjariyakul U (2022) Longitudinal study of impact of medication for opioid use disorder on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Journal of Affective Disorders 297:148-155. 

Keener T, Wang K, Hall K, Hulsey T, and Piamjariyakul U (2022) Mediating role of resilience on nursing faculty and student QoL during COVID-19. Western Journal of Nursing Research 44(11):1006-1015.

Wang K, Xu C, Smith A, Xiao D, Navia O, Lu Y, Xie C and Piamjariyakul U; ADNI (2021) Genome-wide association study identified INSC gene associated with Trail Making Test Part A and Alzheimer’s disease related cognitive phenotypes. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 111:110393. 

Liu Y and Wang K (2019) Comparisons of four discrete distributions in count regressions using elders’ missing teeth data. Journal of Biometrics and Biostatistics 10(1): 427. 

Wang K, Liu Y, Ouedraogo Y, Wang N, Xie X, Xu C and Luo X (2018) Principal component analysis of early alcohol, drug and tobacco use with major depressive disorder in US adults. Journal of Psychiatric Research 100:113-120. 

Wang K, Liu X, Ategbole M, Xie X, Liu Y, Xu C, Xie C and Sha Z (2017) Generalized linear mixed model analysis of urban-rural differences in social and behavioral factors for colorectal cancer screening. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 18(9):2581-2589. 

Wang K, Liu X, Pan Y, Owusu D and Xu C (2017) Comparison of Cox regression and parametric models for survival analysis of genetic variants in HNF1B gene related to age at onset of cancer. Journal of Data Science 15(3):423-442. 

Research Presentations (Selected)

Zhao Q, Wang K and Liu Y (2023) Statistical analysis of past-year marijuana use in U.S. general population: a negative binomial regression model. 4th International Conference on Public Health and Data Science (ICPHDS) 2023, December 15-17, 2023, Huainan, China.

Wang K, Adjeroh D, Walter SM and Piamjariyakul U (2023) Machine learning of substance use and youth experiences in the home, school, and community with major depressive disorder in US adolescents. 2023 Symposium on Substance Use Research, November 7-9, 2023.   

Theeke L, Liu Y, Wang S, Navia RO, Xiao D, Xu C and Wang K; ADNI (2023) Longitudinal changes in proteomic biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting, Tampa, FL, November 8-12, 2023.

Wang K, Shafique S, Wang S, Fang W and Adjeroh D (2022) Feature selection and machine learning to identify factors associated with e-cigarette use among US adults: Analysis of the 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). 2022 Symposium on Substance Use Research. Hosted Jointly by the RDAR COBRE, the COBRE on Opioids and Overdose, WVCTSI, WV-INBRE, and the CADRE (November 8-10, 2022).

Wang K, Fang W, Wang S, Liu Y, Xu C; The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (2022) Utilizing feature selection to identify proteomic biomarkers for support vector machine learning-based classification of Alzheimer’s disease. International Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Conference, June 15-16, 2022, Virtual Event.

Xu C, Avila ML, Gil M, Maestre G and Wang K (2022) APOE gene associated with dementia related disorders and neuropsychiatric related phenotypes in the Hispanic/Latino population. International Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Conference, June 15-16, 2022, Virtual Event.

Walter SM, McNair N, Banat R, Anderson T, Dai Z, Wang K (2022) Results from the Perceived Value of Certification Tool (PVCT-12) Survey: Analysis of the perceived value of certification among stroke and neuroscience nurses. American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) Annual Educational Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, March 12-March 15, 2022.

Wang K, Lu Y, and Walter SM (2021) A negative binomial regression model for assessing gender differences in marijuana use in West Virginia: Findings from the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. 2021 ATRN Virtual Health Summit, hosted by Penn State College of Medicine (October 19-20, 2021).

Dai Z and Wang K (2021) Early onset alcohol, smokeless tobacco and marijuna use with adult binge drinking in US. 2021 Symposium on Substance Use Research, hosted Jointly by the RDAR COBRE, the COBRE on Opioids and Overdose, WVCTSI, WV-INBRE, and the CADRE (November 9-11, 2021).

Wang K, Adjeroh D, Lu Y, Walter SM, Schreurs BG, Piamjariyakul U and Xu C; ADNI (2021) The effects of alcohol consumption and smoking on targeted proteomic biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease. 2021 Symposium on Substance Use Research, hosted Jointly by the RDAR COBRE, the COBRE on Opioids and Overdose, WVCTSI, WV-INBRE, and the CADRE (November 9-11, 2021).

Wang K and Piamjariyakul U (2020) Alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use with co-occurrence of adult heart diseases and hypertension: age differences. 2020 Symposium on Substance Use Research. Co-hosted by the Rural Drug Addiction Research (RDAR) COBRE, the COBRE on Opioids and Overdose, and the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI). VIRTUAL CONFERENCE (NOV. 9-13, 2020).

Fokuoh E and Wang K (2019) A linear mixed model analysis of the APOE4 gene with the logical memory test total score in Alzheimer’s disease. 2019 Appalachian Student Research Forum.

Wang K, Liu Y, Wang N, Elom H, Xie X and Wang L (2017) Weighted principal component regression analysis of cancer information seeking behaviors with colorectal cancer screening. The American Public Health Association (APHA) 145th Annual Meeting, Atlanta, USA. 

Wang K, Liu X, Liu Y, Choksi C, Xu C and Xie C (2017) Longitudinal study of treatment effects on opioid dependence using linear mixed models in a clinical trial. The American Public Health Association (APHA) 145th Annual Meeting, Atlanta, USA. 

Ouedraogo Y, Liu Y, Lu Y and Wang K (2017) Pleiotropic effects of single nucleotide polymorphophisms of EDIL3 gene: Association with cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabete. The American Public Health Association (APHA) 145th Annual Meeting, Atlanta, USA. 


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