We are excited to welcome Dr. Kiros Berhane, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, as of January 1, 2020.
Dr. Berhane has dedicated his career to applying inquisitive and creative thinking and quantitative reasoning to develop solutions to pressing public heath challenges. His methodologic research has been inspired by the need for new methods and applications of complex data structures to address important public health challenges. He has contributed new advances, including methods for: (i) dealing with nonlinear trajectories for correlated data; (ii) distributed lag models for multi-level time series data of counts; (iii) multiple longitudinal outcomes with potential misclassification; (iv) multivariate survival data; (v) multi-level quantile regression; and (vi) mediation in the context of quantile regression—among many others.
More recently, he has expanded his historic focus on statistical methods relevant to obesity, respiratory, and cardio-metabolic health to neuro-cognitive and omics-related research. He is also leading a large collaborative team on environmental biostatistics, with a focus on multiple outcomes; synergistic effects of the environment with genetic and epigenetic factors; spatiotemporal exposure modelling; methods for the interface between mechanistic and stochastic models; causal inference and exposure mixtures (in finite and high dimensional settings).
Prior to joining our School, Dr. Berhane was a professor of preventive medicine and head of the epidemiology/biostatistics program at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Berhane also led the graduate training program in Biostatistics and co-led the LA Biostatistics Education Summer Training program at USC (LA’s BEST@USC), which aims to build a diverse student body in biostatistics. He was also a lead statistician on the landmark Southern California Children’s Health Study and co-directed the Methods Core of the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science Center at USC.
Dr. Berhane began his formal training with undergraduate study in Statistics and Mathematics at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, along with a senior year project in Demography; he then went on to obtain postgraduate training in statistics (MSc) at the University of Guelph (Canada) and in biostatistics (PhD) at the University of Toronto, where he focused on flexible smoothing techniques to develop Generalized Additive Models for longitudinal data analysis using the GEE approach. His postdoctoral fellowship in biostatistics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health focused on methods for environmental research, including dealing with complexities in potentially nonlinear and synergistic effects of air pollution on daily mortality and morbidity counts.
In recognition of his commitment to teaching and research at the global scale, Dr. Berhane was a 2016-2017 recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award in the Teaching/Research category. As a nationally and internationally recognized scholar on biostatistical research, he is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). He is an active member of the ASA, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Biometrics Society, among others.