Alumni Stories

Alumnus launches effort to help the next generation of biostatisticians!

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Harvey Co Chien (BIOST MS '87) recently established a scholarship fund to support students pursuing master's degrees in biostatistics. You too can support students and the department, providing resources, supporting educational programs, aiding travel costs, and allowing us to remain accessible and affordable to the next generation of biostatisticians. Find out more.  

Meet Lingyun Lyu, Pitt Biostats MS graduate and PhD candidate

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Lingyun Lyu (BIOST PhD '22) is a second-year Ph.D. student in Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health. She came to Pitt in 2016 and earned her M.S. in Biostatistics in 2018. She loved the master’s program and thinks that it’s really well-designed. In addition to many essential statistical theory and applied courses, this program also includes a research-based thesis project. That’s what really made her time in the master’s program worthwhile and one... 

Meet Peng Liu, MS grad, PhD candidate in biostatistics

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“I started doing research in the second year of my master’s program and that’s where I started to feel like research is kind of exciting and I enjoy doing it. My advisor at that time was Dr. Jonathan Yabes, who is also a graduate of our program and who is now working in the medical school. He helped me a lot and is a very nice person. I like the challenge – especially when the research is new and there are some tangible problems to solve.”  

Barkin Index measures how mother's are doing post-partum

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MERCER NEWS - Jennifer Barkin (EPI ’09, BIOST ’02), has created a new tool that could help disrupt the maternal health crisis. During her time at Pitt Public Health, Barkin created the Barkin Index to measure how a new mother is functioning in her day-to-day post-baby life. Now her index is being used in clinical trials by a drug company which created a drug for post-partum depression. Additionally, her index is being used by a technology compan... 

Barbour: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award

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Kamil Barbour (BIOST ’11, EPI ’10) is an epidemiologist with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for the CDC, currently serving as team lead of the State Chronic Disease Epidemiology Assignee Program. In this hand-selected role, he supervises four senior-level epidemiologists and leads a prolific research program focused on critical applied epidemiological needs.  

Marsh, Buchanich, multiple alums publish first study of workers involved in aerospace materials manufacturing

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE - This is the first ever epidemiological study of workers involved in aerospace materials manufacturing. Authored by BIOST's Gary Marsh and Jeanine Buchanich and featuring work from Jessica Graves (BIOST '18, EPID '22), Yimeng (Alice) Lu (BIOST '17), and Sarah Zimmerman (BIOST '13).   

Faculty Spotlight: Jenna Colavincenzo Carlson

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JENNA CARLSON (BIOST '17) is a familiar face to the Department of Biostatistics since receiving her PhD with us a few years ago. After finishing her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Human Genetics for a year before joining Biostats as an assistant professor in August. Carlson is an outstanding educator and researcher with expertise in both statistical education and in population genetics.   

Meet alumna Shumei Sun

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SHUMEI SUN (BIOS '83) currently serves as the chair of the Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University. As chair, she has played a vital role in transforming the department by doubling the size of its faculty, and initiating new courses in mathematical genetics, omics and informatics over the past decade.  

Scott appointed director of Biostatistics Division, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

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JOHN SCOTT (BIOST '08) was recently appointed as the director of the Division of Biostatistics at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. In this role, Scott leads a group of 35 biostatisticians responsible for statistical aspects of the regulatory evaluation and oversight of vaccines, allergenic extracts, blood components, cellular therapies, gene therapies, etc.   

Pitt Public Health study suggests there are thousands more opioid deaths than are being reported

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US NEWS - Death certificates that did not specify the drugs involved in fatal overdoses may have masked more than 70K opioid-related deaths across the U.S. from 1999 to 2015. "Coroners... do not necessarily have medical training useful for completing drug information for death certificates based on toxicology reports," says BIOS' JEANINE BUCHANICH . DEAN BURKE and LAURAN BALMERT (BIOS ’17) coauthored the study.  

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