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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Weida Tong Ph.D.
Leadership Role
Director, Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics - National Center for Toxicological Research

Director, Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics

Dr. Weida Tong

Weida Tong, Ph.D.
(870) 543-7121

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 About  |  Publications


Dr. Weida Tong is Director of the Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). He has been an FDA Senior Biomedical Research and Biomedical Product Assessment Service expert since 2011, an Arkansas Research Alliance fellow since 2016, and a member of the Arkansas Academy of Computing since 2021. He has served on science advisory boards for several multi-institutional projects in Europe and the U.S. and also holds adjunct appointments at several universities. His primary research interests are in the fields of bioinformatics, artificial intelligence (AI), molecular modeling and data analytics for biomarker discovery, drug safety and repurposing, pharmacogenomics/toxicogenomics, and precision medicine. Currently, he directs several FDA mission-critical projects in his division: 

  • Supervising the FDA-led community-wide MicroArray and SEquencing Quality Control (MAQC/SEQC) consortium to analyze technical performance and practical utility of emerging genomics technologies with an emphasis on regulatory application and precision medicine.
  • Developing the Liver Toxicity Knowledge Base to address drug safety concerns related to drug-induced liver injury (DILI). 
  • Designing and developing computer-based technology to support FDA’s effort on bioinformatics and scientific computing (e.g., development of the FDA genomic tool, ArrayTrack, to support pharmacogenomics data review in FDA). 
  • Developing machine learning and AI for digital health and drug repositioning.
  • Conducting molecular modeling and quantitative structure activity relationship models on various toxicological endpoints such as endocrine disruption and carcinogenicity.

Dr. Tong has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)
2018 – Present 

Global Coalition for Regulatory Science Research (GSRS)
Executive Committee member
2013 – Present

Chair, Bioinformatics Working Group
2018 – Present

Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology/Critical Assessment of Massive Data Analysis (ISMB/CAMDA) Society
Scientific Committee and Advisor 
2009 – Present

Massive Analysis and Quality Control Society
2017 – Present 

Chair Emeritus
2020 – Present

Board Chairperson 
2017 – 2020

MidSouth Computational Biology & Bioinformatics Society
2002 – Present 


2019 – 2020


Society of Toxicology (SOT)
2008 – Present

SOT Board of Publication
2019 – 2020


Select Publications

Unraveling Gene Fusions for Drug Repositioning in High-Risk Neuroblastoma.
Liu Z., Chen X., Roberts R., Huang R., Mikailov M., and Tong W.
Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2021, 12, 768.

Trade-off Predictivity and Explainability for Machine-Learning Powered Predictive Toxicology: An In-Depth Investigation with Tox21 Data Sets.
Wu L., Huang R., Tetko I.V., Xia Z., Xu J., and Tong W.
Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2021, 34(2):541-549.

Introduction to Special Issue: Computational Toxicology.
Kleinstreuer N.C., Tetko I.V., and Tong W. 
Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2021, 34(2):171-175.

Impact of Sequencing Depth and Library Preparation on Toxicological Interpretation of RNA-Seq Data in a “Three-Sample” Scenario.
Li D., Gong B., Xu J., Ning B., and Tong W.
Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2021, 34(2):529-540.

DeepDILI: Deep Learning-Powered Drug-Induced Liver Injury Prediction Using Model-Level Representation.
Li T., Tong W., Roberts R., Liu Z., and Thakkar S.
Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2021, 34(2):550-565.

FDALabel for Drug Repurposing Studies and Beyond.
Fang H., Harris S., Liu Z., Thakkar S., Yang J., Ingle T., Xu J., Lesko L., Rosario L., and Tong W.
Nature Biotechnology. 2020, 38(12), 1378-1379.

Advancing Genomics for Rare Disease Diagnosis and Therapy Development.
Liu Z., Roberts R., Shi T., Mikailov M., and Tong, W.
Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2020, 11, 1523.

Regulatory Landscape of Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines from a Global Perspective.
Thakkar S., Anklam E., Xu A., Ulberth F., Li J., Li B., Hugas M., Sarma N., Crerar S., Swift S., Hakamatsuka T., Curtui V., Yan W., Geng X., Slikker W., and Tong W.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2020, 104647.

Landscape of circRNAs Across 11 Organs and 4 Ages in Fischer 344 Rats.
Gong B., Xu J.Z., and Tong W.
Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2020.

A Comprehensive Rat Transcriptome Built from Large Scale RNA-seq-Based Annotation.
Ji X., Li P., Fuscoe J.C., Chen G., Xiao W., Shi L., Ning B., Liu Z., Hong H., Wu J., Liu J., Guo L., Kreil D.P., Łabaj P.P., Zhong L., Bao W., Huang Y., He J., ZhaoTong Y., Tong W., and Shi T.
Nucleic Acids Research. 2020.    

Can Transcriptomic Profiles from Cancer Cell Lines be Used for Toxicity Assessment?
Liu Z., Zhu L., Thakkar S., Roberts R., and Tong W.
Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2020, 33(1):271-280.    

The Landscape of Hepatobiliary Adverse Reactions Across 53 Herbal and Dietary Supplements Reveals Immune-Mediated Injury as a Common Cause of Hepatitis.
Zhu J., Chen M., Borlak J., and Tong W.
Archives of Toxicology. 2020, 94(1), 273-293.

Drug-Induced Liver Injury Severity and Toxicity (DILIst): Binary Classification of 1278 Drugs by Human Hepatotoxicity.
Thakkar S., Li T., Liu Z., Wu L., Roberts R., and Tong W.
Drug Discovery Today. 2020, 25(1), 201-208.

Contact Information
Weida Tong
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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