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Department of Biostatistics

About the Department

Department of Biostatistics at NYU GPH is engaged in three inter-related activities that aim to improve Public Health through rigorous research and that educate future practitioners, leaders and researchers.  We strive for excellence in:

  1. innovative and groundbreaking methodological research that is relevant to critical Public Health research
  2. collaborative research in pressing and important Public Health issues;
  3. education and training of students from diverse backgrounds in cutting edge statistical methods for design and analysis of studies used in Public Health research, as well as theoretical foundations that will serve as the basis for future innovations. 
We are experiencing major events in Public Health and Biostatistics has many critical contributions to make.  We welcome you to our department and invite you to explore all of our facets in these webpages.
- Rebecca A. Betensky, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics

Prominent Links

Our Efforts in Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

Our faculty were recently featured in the Amstat News cover story recognizing academic departments for JEDI efforts.

See here for other efforts underway in our department.

The Importance of Ethics in Biostatistics: Reflections and Oath

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Photo of biostatistics students, faculty, and staff at 2023 graduation reception

Student Life

Click here to read about and view photos from past student life events.

Pathways into Quantitative Aging Research summer program

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Contact Us

  • Our department chair, Dr. Rebecca Betensky, is one of three NYU professors to have been recognized as 2023 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows, a distinguished lifetime honor within the scientific community! She was recognized for her distinguished contributions to statistical methodology and biomedical research, outstanding leadership of our department, and commitment to and accomplishments in the promotion of diversity in statistics; read more about this honor at NYU's announcement here.
  • A paper co-authored by 4th-year PhD student Zoé Haskell-Craig, Understanding Disparities in Post Hoc Machine Learning Explanation”, was recently accepted at the ACM conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAccT).
  • Congratulations to our department's Dr. Yang Feng, who has been awarded the GPH Teaching Excellence Award for the 2023-2024 academic year!
  • Dr. Jemar Bather, a visiting professor in our department, is a recipient of the 2023 NVDRS New Investigator Research Award, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Public Health Association (APHA). This award is geared toward emerging researchers to promote innovative and quality analysis of violent death data collected by the National Violent Death Reporting System.
  • In addition to our students' involvement in ENAR DataFest (listed below), 
    • 1st-year PhD student Zhihao Chen and 2nd-year MS student Phuc Vu, each participated in invited poster presentation sessions.
    • 3 students from our 2023 PQAR cohort (Taliyah Griffin, Torriana Avery, and Nathaniel "Nate" Maxey, currently in his first year of our MS program) were also in attendance.
    • In terms of faculty involvement: Dr. Stephanie Cook was the keynote speaker for the Fostering Diversity Workshop on Sunday, March 10th; Dr. Melody Goodman led and participated in a panel; and Drs. Rebecca Betensky and Siyu Heng each gave invited abstract presentations.
  • We're proud to announce that out of 6 teams selected as finalists for the 2024 ENAR DataFest, 3 were comprised entirely of PhD and master's students from our department (10 of our students in total). All 3 went on to present their work at the ENAR 2024 Spring Meeting on March 12th (pictured here), and one of our students' teams was ultimately selected as the winner of the competition! (On February 6th, these teams also presented their work to our department, and more information - such as their project titles - is available on the event's flyer here.) The 3 teams from our department are as follows:
    • Yuyu (Ruby) Chen (3rd-year PhD), Taehyo Kim (2nd-year PhD), Cindy Patippe (1st-year PhD) (Video)
    • Zoé Haskell-Craig (4th-year PhD), Jianan Zhu (2nd-year PhD), Xiaoting Chen (1st-year PhD), Jihan (Iris) Zhang (1st-year PhD) (Video)
      • Selected as the final winner of the ENAR 2024 DataFest for their project and presentation, "Exploring the Determinants of Worsening Blood Pressure Control in the US"!
    • Phuc Vu (2nd-year MPH), Weng In Leong (1st-year MPH), Kaylen Wei (1st-year MS) (Slides, Video)
  • One of our second-year PhD students, Taehyo Kim, has had his first-authored paper selected as runner-up for the 2024 Student Paper Competition of the ASA Statistics in Imaging Section. This paper, "DeepFDR: A Deep Learning-based False Discovery Rate Control Method for Neuroimaging Data", was also co-authored by our department's Dr. Hai Shu and MS '22 alumnus Qiran Jia, and Taehyo has been invited to deliver an oral presentation on the paper at the 2024 Joint Statistical Meetings.
  • One of our second-year PhD students, Jianan Zhu, has co-authored a paper, "Simulation of New York City’s Ventilator Allocation Guideline During the Spring 2020 COVID-19 Surge", which was recently published in Critical Care Medicine (also co-authored by our department's Drs. Yang Feng and Rebecca Betensky).
  • Our department's Dr. Melody Goodman assumed the role of Senior Executive Vice Dean of the School of Global Public Health on December 1st, 2023. She will continue with her roles as the Director of the Center for Anti-racism, Social Justice, and Public Health, and as Professor of Biostatistics.
  • In December 2023, our department held a celebratory holiday party for our students and community; see here for photos.
  • For her outstanding work as a statistician with NYU's Critical Race Digital Studies program, our department's Dr. Stephanie Cook has been recognized by Amstat News as the winner of the 2023 Data for Good Challenge under the category of Human Rights.
  • In Fall 2023, representatives for our department have attended several conferences and visited several undergraduate programs in order to recruit underrepresented students for our MS, MPH, and PhD programs, as well as our PQAR summer program:
  • One of our first-year PhD students, Xiaoting Chen, has had a first-author paper from her time in our MS program, "Area-based determinants of outreach vaccination for reaching vulnerable populations: A cross-sectional study in Pakistan", published in PLOS Global Public Health.
  • On September 14th and 15th, 2023, the GPH Center for Health Data Science, directed by our department's Dr. Rumi Chunara, hosted a two-day event, "Human and Planetary Health Roundtable & Symposium: Foregrounding Local Research and Data".
  • This Fall, we are excited to welcome Dr. Alex Dahlen as a new clinical associate professor for our department. Among his responsibilities, Dr. Dahlen will be responsible for leading and further developing our Biostatistics Consulting Lab.

    (Archived news items)

Master's Student Research Symposium
Monday, May 13th, 1:30 - 3:00 pm EST
A series of 7 presentations by current and graduating master's students in our department on research completed in the 2023-2024 academic year

Check Out Our Past Seminars & Events

Christopher Park, MPH '19

"Critical and conceptual understanding of data is necessary for public health research. My biostatistics courses have helped me to develop statistical analytic skills that shape the way I think about data management and utilization in a way that’s fit for public health discoveries."

Ejiro Gbaje, MPH '19

"I am fascinated by the power of biostatistics; it uses mathematics to paint pictures of underlying conditions."

Yan Zhang, MPH '19

"The ability to extract health-related patterns from uncertainty is the undeniable beauty of biostatistics."