Biostatistics News

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The Emory University Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Announces the 2021 winner of the Kutner Award to be Dr. Rajan Patel

The Michael H. Kutner Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Discipline is given annually to a former Emory University Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics graduate student.

Dr. Patel received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Rice University in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He entered Emory's doctoral program in Biostatistics in 2002 and received his doctoral degree from Emory in 2006, working under his advisor Dr. DuBois Bowman. He developed novel statistical methods to analyze functional connectivity of the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Dr. Patel was selected by the Department of Biostatistics to be Emory’s first recipient of a Merck Company Scholarship in 2003 after his first year as a doctoral student.

Over the course of more than 14 years at Google, Dr. Patel has used his combination of statistical and computer science training to transform many of the products used across the world today. With Google Search, Dr. Patel developed the suite of experimentation tools we use thousands of times each year to make improvements to the core algorithms that power Search. From there, he led teams responsible for the freshness and topicality of search results. When you type a query to Google like, [who won the last Kutner award for distinguished service], the work he did to improve the freshness and topicality of Search is why we’re able to find the result showing the recent winner! This work affects over a billion users every day, and several billion searches a day.

Dr. Patel has always been unique in being able to combine his deep statistical understanding with his background in computer science to solve hard technical challenges, like understanding natural language in Search, or understanding images with Google Lens to build beautiful and simple products that have impacted billions of users across the world. Beyond Search, he also applied these ideas to kick off products like Gboard, the Android keyboard which autocorrects billions of words a day for hundreds of millions of users, and Google Podcasts, the best way to find and listen to audio on your phone. Impact like what he’s delivered doesn’t happen from just one person. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Patel has grown to become an excellent leader of junior engineers, analysts, and product managers, growing and leading teams of more than 300 people to help build Search, Google Lens, ARCore, Gboard, Google Podcasts, and now recently consumer shopping experiences across Google. For his contributions, over the last 14 years, Dr. Patel has been promoted through the ranks at Google, from a Level 4 Research Scientist to now being the Vice President of Engineering in the Consumer Shopping group at Google.

Prior to joining Google in 2007, Dr. Patel worked at Amgen, Inc. as a Senior Biostatistician and then a Biostatistics Manager for 2006 and 2007. At Amgen, Dr. Patel conducted statistical analyses for early phase clinical trials and pre-clinical trials and wrote statistical analysis plans, contributed heavily to clinical trial protocols, and worked with physicians, data managers, and clinical trial specialists to run early phase clinical trials.

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            Rajan Patel                  

2021 RSGA BIOS Representatives re-election

Thank you to our outgoing SGA Representatives: Feier Han, Zoey Zuo for all their hard work and dedication to the BIOS students and department! And congratulations to the new incoming 2022 BIOS RSPH student Government Association Representatives: Gaby Blade and Nicole Chen!

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         Feier Han                    Zoey Zuo                    Gaby Blade                  Nicole Chen           

Hao Wu obtained a new NIH R01 grant

Hao Wu obtained a new NIH R01 grant titled “Dissecting epitranscriptomic signal from complex tissues”.

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         Hao Wu 

 

Congrats to Joshua Lukemire for winning the Kutner Best Poster award for junior faculty and post-docs!

Joshua Lukemire, (Post-Doc with Ying Guo), won the Kutner Best Poster for Junior Faculty and Post Docs at the Southern Regional Council on Statistics Research Conference at Jekyll Island, GA.

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   Joshua Lukemire 

 

Alex Edwards is a co-author on a paper recently accepted in Science “A Year of Genomic Surveillance Reveals how the SARS-COV-2 Pandemic Unfolded in Africa.”

Alex Edwards is a co-author on a paper recently accepted in Science “A Year of Genomic Surveillance Reveals how the SARS-COV-2 Pandemic Unfolded in Africa.” We are a year into the COVID-epidemic and most of the world has experienced second and third waves of the virus. This paper examines the genomic epidemiology of the epidemic via analysis of 8746 genomes from 33 African countries and two overseas territories to characterize where the virus came from, how it evolved, and its spread across the continent. Although distorted by low sampling numbers and blind spots, the findings highlight that Africa must not be left behind in the global pandemic response, otherwise it could become a source for new variants.

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      Alex Edwards 

 

Congrats to Jeff for being a member of the American Cancer Society's journal!

Jeff is now a member of the American Cancer Society’s Journal, Cancer’s Editorial Board in the capacity of a Statistical Reviewer! He will serve as an ambassador for the journal.

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    Jeff Switchenko

Max's study of transmission dynamics of COVID-19, was funded by the Dean’s 2021 Pilot Innovation Award 

One of Max’s proposals, the study of transmission dynamics of COVID-19, was funded by the
Dean’s 2021 Pilot Innovation Award ($50,000 over 1 year).

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         Max Lau

 

Natalie Dean's co-authored editorial in the NEJM was published on September 8th, 2021

Co-Authored an editorial in the NEJM with colleagues. The editorial is titled, “COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness and the Test Negative Design”, published September 8th, 2021. Please see the link to view. 

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      Natalie Dean

 

Bios Chair, Dr. Robert Krafty had his first 4 papers accepted whose work was done while he was at Emory

Bios Chair, Dr. Robert Krafty had his first 4 papers accepted whose work was done while he was at Emory: a Biometrics paper for interpretable statistical learning for time-frequency analysis first-authored by a former Ph.D. student, a Frontiers in Neurology paper evaluating deep learning to reduce patient burden when evaluating MS patients with MRI first-authored by a former masters student, a Translational Psychiatry paper introducing higher criticism for understanding irreproducible results in clinical studies using fMRI connectivity first-authored by his current post-doc, and a European Respiratory Journal article understanding interaction of age and drug effects in pulmonary fibrosis that came through the BCC.

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      Robert Krafty

2021 Livingston Fellow

Please congratulate Ying Cui to be the 2021 Livingston Fellow because of her scholarly contributions to BIOS, LGS, RSPH, and Emory!

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         Ying Cui

 

2021 Michael H. Kutner Doctoral Student Award

Please congratulate Zhenxing Guo who wins the 2021 Michael H.Kutner Doctoral student Award because of her scholarly contributions to BIOS, LGS, RSPH, and Emory!

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      Zhenxing Guo

2021 Qualifying Exam Top Performers

2021 qualifying exam top performers are Jacob Englert, Sam Yin, Qile Dai, and Guangming Yang. Congratulations to them!

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             2021 Qualifying Exam Top Performers

 

Natalie Dean was quoted in the July 26th “The Morning” edition of the New York Times

Natalie Dean was quoted in the July 26th “The Morning” edition of the New York Times in an article by David Leonhardt entitled Good morning. We offer advice about thinking through breakthrough infections.

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      Natalie Dean

 

Donna Brogan, Professor Emerita spoke about the Origins and Early Days of Caucus for Women in Statistics

Per Amita Manatunga, at the joint statistical meeting, Caucus for Women in Statistics celebrated the 50-Year History of the Caucus for Women in Statistics. As the founder of the Caucus in 1970's, Donna Brogan, Professor Emerita spoke about the Origins and Early Days of Caucus for Women in Statistics.

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     Donna Brogan

 

Dr. Steve Pittard reports that project E-CARE, which is an AI-assisted recruitment tool funded by the Georgia Research Alliance will now be the subject of a semester-long collaboration and business case analysis by students in the TI

Steve Pittard reports that project E-CARE, which is an AI-assisted recruitment tool funded by the Georgia Research Alliance will now be the subject of a semester-long collaboration and business case analysis by students in the TI: GER program. The TI: GER effort, (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results), is a nationally recognized collaboration between Emory Law and the Georgia Institute of Technology which brings together graduate students in business, science, law, and engineering to work on start-up projects to transform highly promising research into economically viable projects.

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     Steve Pittard

 

Teng Fei defended his dissertation proposal on July 15th

Teng Fei defended his dissertation proposal on July 15th;

Title: Latent Class Methods for Complex Chronic Disease Data

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         Teng Fei

 

Raphiel Murden defended his Dissertation Proposal on July 22nd

Raphiel Murden defended his Dissertation Proposal on July 22nd;

Title:
Topics in Data Integration Methods for Neuroimaging and Generalized Additive Mixed Models for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Curves and Psychosocial Stressors

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     Raphiel Murden

 

Grace Kim defended her Dissertation Proposal on July 23rd

Grace Kim defended her Dissertation Proposal on July 23rd;

Title: Flexible Methods to Incorporate Covariates in Latent Class Analysis.

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        Grace Kim

 

Dr. Howard Chang received an NIH Supplement to study the impacts of heat on Alzheimer's disease morbidity

Congratulations to Dr. Howard Chang for receiving an NIH Supplement to study the impacts of heat on Alzheimer's disease morbidity.

Howard Chang
     Howard Chang

 

Dr. Renee Moore has contributed to a chapter to a book titled “Leadership in Statistics and Data Science: Planning for Inclusive Excellence” edited by Amanda Golbeck and published by Springer

Dr. Renee Moore has contributed to a chapter to a book titled “Leadership in Statistics and Data Science: Planning for Inclusive Excellence” edited by Amanda Golbeck and published by Springer. The title of Renee’s chapter is “My Journey to Leadership” during which she shares 21 Lessons Learned/Highlights from her journey as a student at an all-women’s HBCU to a faculty member at a research 1 institute. Renee highlights many of her Emory BIOS mentors and colleagues in the chapter.

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      Renee Moore

 

Dr. Renee Moore is a co-author of the recently published article “Data and Safety Monitoring of COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials” appearing in the "The Journal of Infectious Diseases"

Dr. Renee Moore is a co-author of the recently published article “Data and Safety Monitoring of COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials” appearing in the "The Journal of Infectious Diseases". The article is accompanied with a commentary by Lawrence Corey who titled his comments as “Behind the Scenes Heroes: the COVID-19 Vaccine Data and Safety Monitoring Board”.

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      Renee Moore

 

Dr. Lance Waller has been named to a three-year term on the US Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee

Dr. Lance Waller has been named to a three-year term on the US Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee (1-2 meetings a year).

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      Lance Waller

 

Dr. Steve Pittard and his team just received a second round of funding from the Georgia Research Alliance

Dr. Steve Pittard and his team just received a second round of funding from the Georgia Research Alliance to continue development of E-CARE which is a product that employs Natural Language Processing to identify qualified candidates for multi-leveled clinical research positions. Steve is the entrepreneurial lead for this project which involves Biostatistics, School of Nursing, Emory Computer Science, Human Resources and the Office of Technology Transfer. “Our intent is to commercialize this technology and license it to major vendors of Applicant Tracking Systems.”

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      Steve Pittard

Dr. Dionne Price Elected President of American Statistical Association

Congratulations to BIOS alumna, Dr. Dionne Price of the Food and Drug Administration, who was elected President of the American Statistical Association! Great news and recognition of her leadership!

Dionne Price Elected President of American Statistical Association

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      Dionne Price

The Award for the best Ph.D. Senior Student Presentation

Each year, students who have reached candidacy and above give a brief presentation of their dissertation research. The winners for 2021 best Ph.D. Senior Student Presentation is "Latent Class Analysis for Time-to-event Data" by Teng Fei. Congratulation!

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         Teng Fei

 

The Livingston Fellowship Award Winner

The Livingston Fellowship Award is given by the Dean’s Office for the most promising or best-performing Ph.D. student in each of the doctoral programs housed within RSPH. Bo Wei is the winner of this prize in 2021. Congratulations!

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           Bo Wei

 

The Patel-Naik Award Winner

The Patel-Naik Award is given annually to one or two pre-candidacy Ph.D. students who develop an outstanding and innovative research proposal. This award is made possible through the generous contribution of alumni Rajan Patel and Kinnery Naik Patel. Congratulations to Shiyu Wang, who is the owner of this prize in 2021! The title of his presentation is "A Deep Neural Network Architecture for the Reconstruction of Subcellular Spatial Structures from Genome Data".

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       Shiyu Wang

 

The Michael H. Kutner Doctoral Student Award

The Michael H. Kutner Doctoral Student Award is given annually to an outstanding Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics who has passed the qualifying exams, demonstrates strong leadership skills, and has conducted excellent research. Raphiel Murden is the winner of this prize in 2021. Congratulations!

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    Raphiel Murden

 

The 2021 Penina and Michael Haber Award for Academic Excellence

This award is given annually to two Master’s students seeking a degree in Biostatistics within the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Emory University. The award recognizes an MPH student and an MSPH student who excel in their academic pursuits during the first year of the program with the highest GPA.  This award is made possible through the generous contribution of Dr. Michael and Mrs. Penina Haber. Congratulations to Tingyang Hu and Lei Wang for winning this prize!

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       Tingyang Hu                      Lei Wang

 

The Penina and Michael Haber Doctoral Award

The Penina and Michael Haber Doctoral Award is given annually to a doctoral student seeking a degree in Biostatistics within the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Emory University. The award recognizes a student(s) who successfully progress towards a degree in the least number of semesters. Congratulations to Joshua Lukemire who won this prize!

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    Joshua Lukemire

 

The BIOS Best Teaching Assistant Award

This year, the BIOS Best Teaching Assistant Award was given to Shijia Bian. Congratulations to her!

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        Shijia Bian

 

The BIOS Award for the Best Capstone/Thesis Video Presentation

The 2021 BIOS Best Capstone/Thesis Video Presentation Award was given to JaNae Holloway, Sabah Munir, and Aiwen Yao. Congratulations!

Mengda Yu    Mingrui Zhang    Aiwen-Yao.jpg 
    JaNae Holloway               Sabah Munir                     Aiwen Yao

 

The 2021 Rollins School of Public Health Charles C. Shepard Award

This award is given annually to the graduating RSPH master's students who are deemed by the faculty to have prepared the most scholarly research paper. BIOS students Xin Wei and Xiaobo Yan were nominated as the BIOS candidates for the award, congratulations!

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           Xin Wei                           Xiaobo Yan

 

The Michael H. Kutner Award for Distinguished Service to the Discipline

This award is given annually to a former graduate of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (and including all predecessor department names) at Emory University. The 2021 winner is Dr. Cheryl Addy.

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     Cheryl Addy

 

The Michael Lynn Award Winner

Congratulations to Dr. David Benkeser, the winner of the 2021 Michael Lynn Award.

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    David Benkeser

 

The 2021 BIOS Faculty Mentor Award

Congratulations to Dr. Yi-An Ko, the winner of the 2021 BIOS Faculty Mentor Award.

Dr. Howard Chang
         Yi-An Ko

 

The 2021 BIOS Teaching Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Risk, the winner of the BIOS Teaching Award.

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          Ben Risk

New Administrative Assistant!

Mary Abosi has been promoted to Administrative Assistant!

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       Mary Abosi

 

Dr. Howard Chang has been promoted to Full Professor with Tenure!

Howard Chang has been promoted to Full Professor with Tenure!

Dr. Howard Chang
     Howard Chang

 

Dr. Rob Krafty has been Award Tenure!

Dr. Rob Krafty has been award tenure and the title has changed from Acting Professor to Rollins Professor!

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         Rob Krafty

 

Dr. Rob Krafty is featured in the Rollins Magazine, Spring 2021

Dr. Robert Krafty’s work aims to better understand and treat mental and behavioral health. His tools—algorithms, statistical models, and machine learning. He uses these to translate the massive data gleaned from MRIs, fMRIs, EEGs, and wearable devices like FitBits into something that can be understood. “My work involves collaborating with teams of clinicians and other scientists,” he says. “I do the math that can unlock useful information contained in the data.”

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       Rob Krafty

 

Dr. Lance Waller's paper was accepted at Harvard Data Science Review

Lance Waller’s paper “Building intuition regarding the statistical behavior of mass medical testing programs” with Taal Levi (Oregon State) was accepted at Harvard Data Science Review. It should be online soon.

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       Lance Waller

 

Stata 17 incorporated Dr.Mary Kelley's method as a new feature

Mary Kelley’s method for analyzing zero-inflated ordinal logistic regression has been incorporated as a new feature in Stata 17.

Dr. Mary Kelley
         Mary Kelly

 

Congratulate Dr. Ying Guo and Ben Risk!

Ying Guo has been elected Chair and Ben Risk as Program Chair for the Statistical Methods In Imaging Section of the ASA.

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         Ying Guo                      Ben Risk

 

Congratulate the following PhD students!

Ph.D. students graduating in May are Meng Shi, Joshua Lukemire, and Behzad Kianian.
They have secured jobs as follows:
i. Meng Shi is currently working at Facebook as a software engineer at messaging search ranking and backend team. Her advisor is Michael Haber.
ii. Joshua Lukemire will begin his Postdoctoral Fellowship position in medical imaging at Emory University. His advisor is Suprateek Kundu.OS
iii. Behzad Kianian has accepted a position at The Centers for Disease Control. His advisor is Lance Waller.

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        Meng Shi                 Joshua Lukemire           Behzad Kianian

 

PhD students with internships 

Ph.D. students with internships include Ganzhong Tian / Amazon, Inc., Sohail Nizam / Uber, Ying Cui/ Pfizer, Yingtian Hu/AbbVie, Ziyue Wu/ Facebook, Inc.

Ganzhong_Tian.jpg    Sohail_Nizam.jpg    Ying_Cui.jpg    Yingtian_Hu.jpg  
     Ganzhong Tian              Sohail Nizam                    Ying Cui                     Yingtian Hu

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        Ziyue Wu

Good News from Dr. Christina Mehta!

Cecile Lahiri, one of the investigators that Dr. Christina Mehta has worked with since she was junior faculty, received her first R01! They will be continuing their work on examining the role of INSTIs on health outcomes for persons living with HIV. Besides, Dr. Christina Mehta was recently selected to be ENAR Diversity Liaison.

Shirin Jabbarzadeh     Christina Mehta  
     Cecile Lahiri                 Christina Mehta

 

Congratulate these MASTER Students!

Dr. Christina Mehta's APE student, JaNae Holloway, was a finalist for the Outstanding APE award. She recently presented her work to Dean Curran. Dr. Christina Mehta's Capstone student Patrick Zhang got a CDC Public Health Informatics fellowship.

JaNae Holloway    Patrick Zhang 
    JaNae Holloway              Patrick Zhang

 

Dr. Suprateek Kundu has been Reappointed to the Editorial Board of Biometrics

Dr. Suprateek Kundu has been reappointed to the Editorial Board of Biometrics and will continue to serve as Associate Editor till July 2023.

Suprateek Kundu
   Suprateek Kundu

 

BIOS Student Shauna McManus has Accepted a Fully Remote Job with Pharmerit

BIOS student Shauna McManus has accepted a fully remote job with Pharmerit, an OPEN Health company. She will be working on patient-centered outcomes research, with a main focus on oncology projects. Through this research, she will work with the FDA to integrate patient-reported data into clinical trials in a meaningful and statistically rigorous manner. 

Shauna McManus
   Shauna McManus

 

BS/MSPH student Alec Reinhardt Received Highest Honors for his Undergraduate Honors Thesis

BS/MSPH student, Alec Reinhardt, received Highest Honors for his undergraduate Honors Thesis. His advisor is Dr. Gordon Ramsay in the Pediatrics department.

Alec Reinhardt
    Alec Reinhardt

 

Congratulate Joy Hearn!

Joy Hearn was featured in the Emory Employee Council newsletter. She’s been one of the RSPH representatives since 2019. 

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       Joy Hearn

 

News from the RSPH Staff Council

Shirin Jabbarzadeh was recently elected as the c-chair of the newly created RSPH Staff Council. Angela Guinyard is also a member.

Shirin Jabbarzadeh     Angela_Guinyard 
 Shirin Jabbarzadeh         Angela Guinyard

 

Steve Pittard has Completed the 12-Month Woodruff Health Educators Academy (WHEA)

Steve Pittard recently completed the 12 Month Woodruff Health Educators Academy (WHEA) which is designed to bring educators across the health sciences at Emory to promote and support the practice and scholarship of teaching and learning.  Steve’s project relates to helping health care providers acquire a deeper understanding of performance measures (e.g. sensitivity, specificity, AUC) used in diagnostic testing. The link for more information.

  Steve Pittard    
        Steve Pittard 

 

Dr. Howard Chang is Involved in a New NIH R21 Project

Howard Chang is involved with a new NIH R21 project on modeling dust storms and their health effects in the southwestern US.

  Howard chang    
       Howard Chang

 

Dr. Lance Waller was quoted in a “How Stuff Works” post

Dr. Lance Waller was quoted in a “How Stuff Works” post on the “Bayes’ Theorem Helps Us Nail Down Probabilities”. Link for more information.

  Steve Pittard    
       Lance Waller

 

Dr. Michael Kutner will Receive the 2021 Karl E. Peace Award from ASA in August

Dr. Michael Kutner will receive the 2021 Karl E. Peace Award from ASA in August for Outstanding Statistical Contributions to the Betterment of Society. It’s a highly competitive award that began in 2012. “I feel very honored to receive this prestigious award.”

  Steve Pittard    
     Michael Kutner

 

PhD Student Durant Moore was Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel

PhD student Delante Moore was selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel in the army and will be promoted on July 1st of this year. 

  Steve Pittard    
      Durant Moore

 

Congratulate!

Dr. David Benkeser was asked to be an Associate Editor at Biometrics.

Dr. David Benkeser
     David Benkeser

 

Dr. Amita Manatunga and Dr. Renee Moore were Honored at ENAR's 20th Anniversary Celebration

Dr. Amita Manatunga and Dr. Renee Moore were recognized at ENAR’s 20th Anniversary celebration of the Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics Workshop. They are recognized among those who have made significant contributions to the success of this workshop through the years. Amita co-founded this workshop with Professor Louise Ryan, a former faculty member at Harvard University, in 2001.

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   Amita Manatunga           Renee Moore   

Dr. Rob Krafty Published his First Paper on Health in Atlanta

Dr. Rob Krafty has first paper looking at health in Atlanta:  “Greenspace Redevelopment, Residential Displacement, and Sleep Quality among Black Adults in Southwest Atlanta” - Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

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         Rob Krafty

 

Congratulate these MSPH students!

MSPH student Hannah Kalvin has accepted the position of Assistant Research Biostatistician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Hannah has worked with Renee Moore in BCC on several epidemiology projects and with Jeff Switchenko (her capstone advisor) analyzing the relationship between breast cancer mortality and BMI. Hannah is looking forward to moving to New York City (once it is safe to do so) and beginning her career as a collaborative biostatistician in oncology research.

MSPH student Brendan Ceretto-Clark recently accepted a full-time position at The Emmes Company, LLC as an Associate Biostatistician and successfully negotiated a competitive salary, sign-on bonus, and benefits. The position will be remote for now but Brendan is looking forward to moving to Washington D.C in 2022 and working on ophthalmology, oncology, opioid addiction, and other clinical trials. His advisor is Jose Binongo.

Sohail_Nizam.jpg    Ziyue_Wu.jpg 
    Hannah Kalvin         Brendan Ceretto-Clark

 

Paul Weiss’s “first-author” Paper was Accepted

Paul Weiss’s “first-author” paper was accepted in October of 2020 regarding using survey methods to determine transmission interruption for lymphatic filariasis (LF). He has been invited to present the paper at a conference in Rome this coming July. 

Paul Weiss
     Paul Weiss

 

Dr. Suprateek Kundu Received his Second R01 from NIA

Dr. Suprateek Kundu officially received his second R01 from NIA (role: MPI along with MPI Dr. Qi Long) titled "Statistical Modeling of Alzheimer's Disease Progression Integrating Brain Imaging and -Omics Data". This is a 5-year award (3/1/2021-2/28/26).

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   Suprateek Kundu

 

Phd students Interned at Uber and Facebook

Sohail Nizam has an internship at Uber and Ziyue Wu has one at Facebook. These PhD students are advised by Dr. David Benkeser.

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     Sohail Nizam                  Ziyue Wu    

 

Teng Fei Accepted a Position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

PhD student Teng Fei has accepted a position as assistant member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Teng is advised by Limin Peng.

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        Teng Fei 

 

Congratulate Raphiel Murden!

Congratulate Raphiel Murden, who is one of only five LGS student inductees of the Edward A. Bouchet Honor Society in 2020. A great honour and well-deserved. Link.

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   Raphiel Murden

 

Dr. David Benkeser is Working with the NIH-led Trials to Identify which Immune Responses Drive the Vaccine’s Effectiveness

David Benkeser was featured and quoted in an online CNN article, “Changes to coronavirus vaccine schedule wouldn't start with FDA, the agency says”. He is currently working with the NIH-led trials to prepare for the analysis of immune response data from the large US trials to identify which immune responses are driving the vaccine’s effect. “If we can identify the immune responses that are important for preventing COVID, then we can potentially open up accelerated pathways for approval of new vaccines and/or existing vaccines in new populations (e.g., children or pregnant women).”

Dr. David Benkeser
     David Benkeser

 

Dr. Renee Moore published an article in the Journal of Statistics Education

Renee Moore was a co-author in the article “Creating and Sustaining Effective Pipeline Initiatives to Increase Diversity in Biostatistics: The ENAR Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics Workshop", published in Journal of Statistics Education, 2020.

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     Renee Moore

 

Dr. Rob Krafty's Two Senior Author Publications were Accepted

Dr. Rob Krafty had his first two senior author publications while at Emory accepted, a methodological paper in the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics and an applied.

Dr. Jeff Switchenko
         Rob Krafty

 

Zhenxing Guo Won the 2021 JSM Student Paper Award

Zhenxing Guo won the 2021 JSM Student Paper Award from the ASA Section on Statistics in Genomics and Genetics (SGG).

Zhenxing_Guo.jpg
     Zhenxing Guo

 

Ying Cui Received a Couple of Paper Awards

Ying Cui, a PhD student, won several paper awards:

  • 2021 ENAR Distinguished Student Paper award (based on a paper supervised by Limin Peng);
  • 1st place in the ASA Medical Device and Diagnostic Section’s 2020-21 student paper.

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         Ying Cui                       

 

Congratulations to Yingtian Hu and Josh Lukemire! 

Yingtian Hu was a winner and Josh Lukemire a runner-up for the Statistics in Imaging Section of the ASA’s Student Paper Competition.

Yingtian_Hu.jpg    Joshua-Lukemire.jpg 
      Yingtian Hu                 Josh Lukemire                    

 

Steve Pittard and Dr. Steve Qin Received a Grant from the Emory Center

Steve Pittard and Dr. Steve Qin received a $350 grant from the Emory Center for Faculty Development and Excellence Mini-Grant program to finance software to develop educational videos for deployment on YouTube and Canvas. It will be used to provide expanded content for students of BIOS 534 Machine Learning and BIOS 545 Intro to R.

Steve Qin  Steve Pittard    
        Steve Qin                 Steve Pittard    

 

The 2020 PATEL-NAIK AWARD

Shiyu Wang was the winner of the 2020 PATEL-NAIK AWARD. Congratulations on his outstanding project submission, which is a deep neural network architecture for the reconstruction of subcellular spatial structures from genome data.

Shiyu_Wang.jpg      
     Shiyu Wang                           

Dr. David Benkeser was a Speaker in the NISS Webinar Series

Dr. David Benkeser gave a presentation entitled ‘Statistics and COVID-19 Vaccine Development’ in the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) webinar series on COVID-19 and Data Sciences.

Dr. Benkeser is involved in the COVID-19 Prevention Network, where he (and others) consult and advise on the design and analysis strategies for Operation Warp Speed-run Phase III vaccine efficacy trials. This network seeks to harmonize the design of the trials to enable cross-trial analyses to better learn how and how well these vaccines work. A particular area of focus is on study design and analytic methods to uncover vaccine correlates of protection, immune responses that are predictive of the efficacy of vaccines. These immune responses could serve as a key mechanism in bringing vaccines to market more quickly and gaining licensure for vaccines in broader populations.

Dr. David Benkeser
     David Benkeser

 

Congratulations Dr. Mary Kelley! 

Dr. Mary Kelley has been appointed as statistical editor of JAMA Psychiatry. This is the highest impact journal in psychiatry.

Ying-Guo.jpg
       Mary Kelley

 

Dr. Jeff Switchenko Named the Interim Director of the Winship Cancer Center

Dr. Jeff Switchenko has been named Interim Director of the Biostatistics Shared Resource of the Winship Cancer Center.

Dr. Jeff Switchenko
     Jeff Switchenko

 

Dr. Ying Guo Awarded NIH R01 Grant

Dr. Ying Guo received an NIH R01 grant for developing statistical ICA (Independent Component Analysis) methods for studying human brain connectomes in psychiatric research. The application received a 1 percentile score from the BMRD study section review. ICA is a blind source separation method to identify latent source signals by decomposing multivariate and high-dimensional observations.

Ying-Guo.jpg
         Ying Guo

 

The Kutner Doctoral Student and Livingston Fellowship Award

Congratulations to Raphiel Murden, winner of the 2020 Michael Kutner Distinguished Doctoral Student Award, and Bo Wei, winner of the 2020 Livingston Fellowship Award.

The Michael Kutner Distinguished Doctoral Student Award is awarded based on academic achievement, significant contribution to the department, and potential for important contributions to the profession. The Livingston Fellowship Award selects students with outstanding research potential and strong abilities to present our doctoral program.

Raphiel is a fifth-year graduate student has been a consistent leader within the department as well as the greater Emory community. Raphiel actively represents the department and the Laney Graduate School at recruitment events nationwide and serving on the department’s student council. His research focus lies in data integration methods, brain imaging statistics, functional data analysis, and social determinants of health. At the Joint Statistical Meetings 2020, he presented a paper co-authored with his advisor, Dr. Benjamin Risk, along with Dr. Ying Guo. Another accomplishment Raphiel achieved this year was an induction into the Bouchet National Honors Society.

Raphiel_Murden.jpg  Bo_Wei.jpg    
    Raphiel Murden                 Bo Wei            

 

The BIOS Award for the Senior Student Presentation

The BIOS Award for the Senior Student Presentation: 1st place – Teng Fei; 2nd place – Grace Kim; Special kudos – Josh Lukemire.

Teng’s presentation, Latent Class Analysis for Time-to-Event Data garnered top honors for presentation style and delivery. As a fifth-year student, Teng has been active in several areas including the recipient of the inaugural LGS Advanced Teaching Fellowship for the 2019 – 2020 academic year. This has been a busy year for Teng as he has coauthored numbers of papers with a number of faculty within the department with appearances in few journals including Science Advances. He is also the recipient of student awards at both ASA and ENAR conferences. His research interest includes latent class methods, survival analysis, and batch effect adjustment with the guidance his Dr. Limin Peng.  

Grace placed second in this year’s Senior Doctoral Student Presentation event. Grace’s presentation, Flexible Methods to Incorporate Covariates in Latent Class Analysis, provided the audience with insights into her dissertation research. As a sixth-year student, she has participated in several professional development opportunities including a recent talk on study designs for quantitative analysis at the Allergy/Immunology Department at the School of Medicine. Grace closely works with her advisor, Dr. John Hanfelt, with research for the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) grant. Her research interests are latent class analysis, finite mixture models, and mild cogitative impairment (MCI).

Teng_Fei.jpg  Grace_Kim.jpg  Joshua-Lukemire.jpg 
         Teng Fei                     Grace Kim                 Joshua Lukemire                    

 

Dr. Max Lau Had a Milestone Grant Proposal Approved from GDPH to continue our COVID-19 Work

Dr. Max Lau's research proposal, “Transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in Georgia, USA”, has been selected as a Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) ECRC grant recipient.

Max_Lau-150.jpg 
        Max Lau
 

 

Congratulations Dr. Ying Guo!

Dr. Ying Guo was appointed as a Standing Member of the Emerging Imaging Technologies in Neuroscience Study Section of National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Ying-Guo.jpg
        Ying Guo

 

Steve Pittard is the Project Lead for E-CARE

E-CARE is a Natural Language Processing (NLP) framework that can facilitate a more efficient, accurate, and non-biased candidate identification of research professionals when compared to traditional approaches reliant upon manual review. At Emory University, on average, up to 300 Clinical Research Coordinator applicant resumes must be viewed to arrive at  30 possible candidates. E-CARE seeks to reduce human review time while ensuring a high degree of candidate suitability for a posted clinical research position.

Steve Pittard     
       Steve Pittard

 

Dr. Max Lau Publishes Paper on COVID-19 

Dr. Max Lau's first-authored paper, "Characterizing superspreading events and age-specific infectiousness of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Georgia, USA," has been published in PNAS (Proceeding of the Nat’l Academy of Science). 

In this paper, they formulate an individual-level spatiotemporal mechanistic framework to integrate individual surveillance data with geolocation data and aggregate mobility data, enabling a more granular understanding of the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Max Lau's team also summarize that superspreading appears to be widespread across space and time, about 2% of cases were directly responsible for 20% of all infections. For more information click here.

Max Lau 
        Max Lau
 

 

Dr. David Benkeser Receives the Grant from NSF

Dr. David Benkeser received his first grant as PI, on an NSF grant-funded. It’s a three-year grant about interpretable machine learning approaches and applications in personalized vaccine recommendations.

Dr. David Benkeser
     David Benkeser

 

Dr. Steve Qin Receives Collaborative Research Grant from the Halle Institute

Dr. Steve Qin was a winner of a Collaborative Research Grant, from the Halle Institute, for his "Novel computational methods for deconvoluting bulk RNA-sequencing data and identifying the cellular target of kidney disease". The Halle Institute for Economic Research is a non-profit organization and one of Germany's leading economic research institutions. In 2019-2020, the Halle Institute awarded over $500,000 to more than forty faculty and students from across Emory’s schools and disciplines.

Steve Qin      
        Steve Qin

Congratulations to Amita Manatunga on her Elizabeth L. Scott Lecture at the JSM

For her excellence in biostatistical research, for her dedicated mentoring of the next generation of statisticians, and for her committed leadership in expanding statistical opportunities for women and minorities at the individual, institutional, and professional society levels.

  • Lecture: Wednesday, August 5, 10-11:50
  • Statistical Methods for Diagnosis of Complex Diseases with Complex Data
Amita Manatunga 
  Amita Manatunga

EMORY AT JSM 2020

August 3

Monday 10 AM-11:50 AM

10:35 AM

Bayesian Hierarchical Models for Combining Monitoring Measurement, Satellite Imagery, and Model Simulation
Howard Chang, Emory University; Nancy Murray, Emory University

Monday 10 AM-2 PM

 

A Comparison of Angle-Based JIVE and Iterative JIVE
Raphiel Murden, Emory Univ, Rollins School of SPH; Ying Guo, Emory University; Benjamin B Risk, Emory University

 

Setting up the Tools and Workflow for Teaching Reproducible Research, Big Data and Data Mining in Nursing and Public Health

Melinda Higgins, Emory University

Monday 1 PM-2:50 PM

1:05 PM

A Conversation About COVID-19 with Statistical Epidemiologists
Susan Ellenberg, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine; Thomas Fleming, University of Washington; Dean Follmann, NIAID; Andrew Lawson, Medical University of South Carolina; Lance Waller, Emory University; Dionne L Price, Food and Drug Administration

August 4

Tuesday 10 AM-11:50 AM

10:30 AM

Heritability Models for Neuroimaging
Benjamin B Risk, Emory University; Hongtu Zhu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

11:05 AM

Gamma Models for Estimating the Odds Ratio for a Skewed Biomarker Measured in Pools and Subject to Errors
Dane Van Domelen, Emory University; Emily Mitchell, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); Neil Perkins, NICHD; Enrique Schisterman, NICHD; Amita Manatunga, Emory University; Eugene Huang, Emory University; Robert H. Lyles, Emory University

11:25 AM

Multivariate Spectral Downscaling for PM2.5 Species
Yawen Guan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Brian Reich, North Carolina State University; James Mulholland, Georgia Tech; Howard Chang, Emory University

Tuesday 10 AM-2 PM

 

NFL Injury Regression to the Mean and Its Causal Effect on Team Performance
Zachary Binney, Oxford College of Emory University; Gregory Matthews, Loyola University Chicago

 

A Time-Dependent Structural Model Between Latent Classes and Competing Risks Outcomes
Teng Fei, Emory University; John Hanfelt, Emory University; Limin Peng, Emory University

 

Causal Inference Methods for Vaccine Sieve Analysis with Effect Modification
Guandong Yang, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Laura B. Balzer, UMass Amherst; David Benkeser, Emory University  

 

Improving Precision and Power in Randomized Trials for COVID-19 Treatments Using Covariate Adjustment, for Binary, Ordinal, and Time-to-Event Outcomes
David Benkeser, Emory University; Ivan Diaz, Weill Cornell Medicine; Alex Luedtke, University of Washington & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Jodi Segal, Johns Hopkins University; Daniel O Scharfstein, Johns Hopkins University; Michael Rosenblum, Johns Hopkins Univ, Bloomberg School of Public Health

 

Using Bayesian Topic Modeling to Enhance Customer Purchase Prediction
Samuel Levy, Carnegie Mellon University; Dokyun Lee, Carnegie Mellon University; Daniel McCarthy, Emory University; Alan Montgomery, Carnegie Mellon University 

Tuesday 1  PM-2:50 PM

 2:05 PM 

A Source Separation Method for Investigating Brain Connectome Traits
Ying Guo, Emory University; Yikai Wang, Emory University  

August 5

Wednesday 10 AM -11:50 AM

COPSS Elizabeth L. Scott Lecture — Invited Papers

Elizabeth L. Scott Award

Organizer(s): Bhramar Mukherjee, University of Michigan; Huixia Judy Wang, The George Washington University

Chair(s): Huixia Judy Wang, The George Washington University  

10:05 AM Statistical Methods for Diagnosis of Complex Diseases with Complex Data
Amita Manatunga, Emory University
11:10 AM Discussant: Amanda Mejia, Indiana University
11:25 AM Discussant: Xihong Lin, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
11:40 AM Floor Discussion
Wednesday 10 AM -11:50 AM 
11:05 AM Flexible Semiparametric Latent Class Analysis of Recurrent Events Outcomes
Limin Peng, Emory University; Wei Zhao, Emory University; John Hanfelt, Emory University
Wednesday 1 PM-2:50 PM
2:05 PM Linking Zoonotic Surveillance and Environmental Variables in Disease Ecology
Lance Waller, Emory University

August 6

Thursday 10 AM-2 PM
A Bayesian Spatio-Temporal Abundance Model for Surveillance of the Opioid Epidemic
David Kline, Ohio State University; Lance Waller, Emory University; Staci Hepler, Wake Forest University
Thursday 1 PM -2:50 PM
1:05 PM

E Pluribus Unum: Achieving Your Potential in Statistics Through Different Organizations

Will Eagan, Purdue University
Jeri Mulrow, Westat
Renee Helene Moore, Emory University
Shelley Han Liu, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Abie Ekangaki, Premier Research

1:25 PM Design and Analysis Considerations for a Sequentially Randomized HIV Prevention Trial
David Benkeser, Emory University; Keith Horvath, University of California, San Diego; Cathy J Reback, Friends Research Institute; Joshua Rusow, Friends Research Institute; Michael Hudgens, UNC
2:25 PM Two-Stage Super Learner for Predicting Healthcare Expenditures
Ziyue Wu, Emory University; David Benkeser, Emory University; Seth Berkowitz, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Thursday 3 PM-4:50 PM
3:05 PM Eugenics and Its Intersection with Statistics and Society Over Time: A Conversation
Christian P. Robert, Universite Paris Dauphine; David Bellhouse, Professor Emeritus, Western University; David Cutler, Emory University; Scarlett L. Bellamy, Drexel University
4:20 PM Dissecting High-Throughput (Epi)Genomics Signals from Heterogeneous Samples
Hao Wu, Emory University; Ziyi Li, Emory University

 

WSB-TV Interviewed Dr. Max Lau for His Research on the Impact of Superspreaders for COVID-19

WSB-TV interviewed Dr. Max Lau on June 30th. He is part of a research team that's been studying the impact of superspreaders for COVID-19. The study analyzed more than 9,500 COVID-19 cases from the hardest-hit counties in Georgia, which includes Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Dougherty. Dr. Lau's research team found that superspreading was very impactful that 2% of people were responsible for 20% of COVID-19 transmissions. Dr. Lau also said that people younger than 60 two times more likely to affect another person. It turned out that the younger group seemed to be the main driver of superspreading. For more information click here.

Max Lau 
        Max Lau

 

The Rollins School of Public Health Charles C. Shepard Award

This award is given annually to the graduating RSPH master's student who is deemed by the faculty to have prepared the most scholarly research paper. This years’ winner is BIOS student Shan Jiang.

Shan Jiang
     Shan Jiang

 

The Michael H. Kutner Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession

This award is given annually to a former graduate of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (and including all predecessor department names) at Emory University. The 2019 and 2020 winners are Dionne Price, PhD, and Michael Hudgens, PhD.

Dionne Price  Michael Hudgens    
       Dionne Price          Michael Hudgens            


The Penina and Michael Haber Award

This award is given annually to the PhD student(s) who completed their dissertation in the smallest number of semesters. The winners for 2019/20 are Yunchuan Kong and Yikai Wang.

Yunchuan Kong  Yikai Wang    
     Yunchuan Kong            Yikai Wang            


The Award for the best PhD Senior Student Presentation

Each year, students who have reached candidacy and above give a brief presentation of their dissertation research. The winners for 2019/20 are First Place – Joshua Lukemire, Second Place - Behzad Kianian.

Joshua Lukemire  Behzad Kianian    
     Joshua Lukemire       Behzad Kianian            


The BIOS Award for the best Thesis Video Presentation

The BIOS Best Thesis Video Presentation Award was given to Mengda Yu, Mingrui Zhang, and Haoyong Yu. Congratulations!

Mengda Yu  Mingrui Zhang  Haoyong Yu 
     Mengda Yu                Mingrui Zhang               Haoyong Yu


The BIOS Best Teaching Assistant Award

This year, the BIOS Best Teaching Assistant Award was given to Madoc Smith. Congratulations!

Madoc Smith
     Madoc Smith


The BIOS Faculty Mentor Award

Congratulations to Dr. Howard Chang, the winner of the BIOS Faculty Mentor Award.

Dr. Howard Chang
     Howard Chang

 

The BIOS Teaching Award

Congratulations to Dr. John Hanfelt, the winner of the BIOS Teaching Award.

Dr. John Hanfelt
     John Hanfelt

 

Raphiel Murden Named Emory Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Fellow

Raphiel Murden was named a 2020 Emory Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Fellow. The National Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society (BHS), is named for the first African-American doctoral recipient in the United States (Physics, Yale University, 1876), Edward Alexander Bouchet.

Raphiel-Murden.jpg
     Raphiel Murden

 

Dr. Lance Waller Selected as Chair of the American Statistical Association Committee

Dr. Lance Waller was selected as Chair of the American Statistical Association Committee on Funded Research. Dr. Waller also received an NSF RAPID award for his project, “REACT: Real-time Contact Tracing and Risk Monitoring via Privacy-enhanced Mobile Tracking.” In addition, Dr. Waller is a member of a team that recently received a Synergy II-Nexus Award. His project is titled, “Differentially Private, Synthetic Controls for the Center for Health Discovery and Well-Being Cohort: Data Science to Assess Health, Wellness, and Disease.” Finally, Dr. Waller and Dr. Hannah Cooper (BSHE) received an NIH T32 grant, “Training in Advanced Data Analytics to End DrugRelated Harms (TADA).”

Dr. Lance Waller
     Lance Waller

The Project Led by Dr. David Benkeser highlighted on CNN

Dr. David Benkeser and colleagues led a project, highlighted on CNN, examining racial disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths across the United States. Dr. Benkeser was also an invited speaker on Data-Driven Precision Medicine and Translational Research in the Era of Big Data Symposium.

Dr. David Benkeser
     David Benkeser

 

Congratulations Dr. Jeff Switchenko! 

Dr. Jeff Switchenko has been named Assistant Director of the Winship Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource.

Dr. Jeff Switchenko
     Jeff Switchenko

Dr. Lance Waller Appointed to Emory's Center for Ethics

Dr. Lance Waller was appointed to be a Senior Faculty Fellow of Emory’s Center for Ethics. Congratulations Dr. Waller!

Lance-Waller.jpg
     Lance Waller

BIOS Faculty Max Lau Publishes Paper on Measles Spread

Dr. Max Lau's first-authored paper, "A competing risks model explains hierarchical spatial coupling of measles epidemics en-route to national elimination," has been published in Nature Ecology & Evolution

Prior to the introduction of a vaccine, the number of measles cases in England and Wales would undergo periodic epidemics. Dr. Lau led researchers who sought to identify the causes of these periodic spikes and locate the reservoirs where the virus is maintained in the dips after major epidemics. This persistence question is central to understanding the dynamics of measles and other viral diseases, and the results of this study could help inform the long-term public health response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Max Lau 
        Max Lau

BIOS Department Members Receive Patent

Dr. Steve Qin and Steve Pittard received an official patent which is now registered in the US Patent Database. Congratulations Dr. Qin and Steve!

Steve Qin  Steve Pittard    
        Steve Qin                   Steve Pittard            

Dr. Xiao-Li Meng Will Deliver the 2020 Donna J. Brogan Lecture

Dr. Xiao-Li Meng, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Statistics, Harvard University, will deliver the 2020 Donna J. Brogan Lecture in Biostatistics on (TBA), The topic of the lecture is “Personalized treatment: Sounds heavenly, but where on earth did they find the right guinea pig for me?” For more information click here.

Xiao-Li Meng  
     Xiao-Li Meng

Spring 2020 Award Winners

PhD student Nancy Murray won the Michael H. Kutner Doctoral Student Award for her scholarly accomplishments and her contributions to the Department and to the profession.

PhD student Joshua Lukemire won the Livingston Award for excellence in research potential and ability to give impressive public presentations to showcase our PhD program.

PhD student Teng Fei has won the 2020 Student Paper Award from the Lifetime Data Science Section of the American Statistical Association for his paper: “A Time-Dependent Structural Model Between Latent Classes and Competing Risks Outcomes” by T. Fei, J. Hanfelt and L. Peng.

Congratulations Nancy, Joshua, and Teng!

Nancy Murray  Joshua Lukemire  Teng Fei 
     Nancy Murray           Joshua Lukemire                Teng Fei

Dr. Amita Manatunga Receives E. L. Scott and Emory Women of Excellence Awards

Faculty member Dr. Amita Manatunga will deliver the first E. L. Scott Lecture at the 2020 Joint Statistical Meetings in Philadelphia. This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the contributions of Elizabeth L. Scott’s lifelong efforts to further the careers of women in academia. The award is granted to an individual, male or female, who has helped foster opportunities in statistics for women. 

Dr. Manatunga also received the Emory Women of Excellence Awards 2020. She received the Award for Mentorship on Thursday, March 5, during the award celebration. The Emory Women of Excellence Awards celebrate women who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication to issues that affect women at Emory and in the larger community. To learn more about the Emory Women of Excellence Awards, please click here.

Amita Manatunga 
  Amita Manatunga