News & Events


We have a vibrant seminar series and an energetic research faculty. You can visit our Division's website for more details on the seminars. 




Winter 2024 - 

Mengxue Xia Congratulations to MS student, Mengxue Xia, for receiving the secondary award of the Julie D. Soo, MA '85 Master's Degree Scholarship, which provides support for the benefit of Master’s degree students in mathematics or statistics who have been or are using their analytical skills toward social justice and civic engagement.



Spring 2022 - 

Wilcox,-Naomi-F21-MS.jpg Congratulations to MS student, Naomi Wilcox, for receiving the Julie D. Soo, MA '85 Master's Degree Scholarship, which provides support for the benefit of Master’s degree students in mathematics or statistics who have been or are using their analytical skills toward social justice and civic engagement.

Biostatistics doctoral alumni, Yuqi Qiu, was selected as the 2022 Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal recipient for the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, in recognition of outstanding doctoral research.


 Winter 2022 - Exciting News!


We're thrilled to announce that our rising doctoral graduates have accepted positions at, Inc. and Pfizer Inc., and Vanderbilt University. 



In other scholarly news, the first-authored paper by Biostatistics graduate student Junting Ren was published by Statistics in Medicine, entitled "A Semi-parametric Bayesian model for semi-continuous longitudinal data". See below for abstract, and this link for the full paper. 

We propose a two-component semi-parametric Bayesian mixture model, with the discrete component captured by a probability mass (typically at zero) and the continuous component of the density modeled by a mixture of B-spline densities that can be flexibly fit to any data distribution. The model includes random effects of subjects to allow for application to longitudinal data. Statistical inference can be made for multiple quantiles of the covariate effects simultaneously providing a comprehensive view. 



Past Events (2021)



Fall 2021



Biostatistics graduate student Kristen Hansen has published a paper describing a method to estimate how a mountain glacier goes down a mountain, as a step toward quantifying mountain glacier retreat as indication of climate change. You can read the paper here



We're back at it! We are thrilled to welcome another cohort to the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. 


Summer 2021

Congratulations to doctoral student, Junting Ren! Junting is the newly elected American Statistical Association San Diego Chapter Treasurer!

image of man smiling and eating ice cream


Four (4) of our PhD students were hired for internships this summer.  Congratulations to you all for your accomplishments.  

Ruifeng edit Wenyi edBiostatistics doctoral student, Yiran Zhangit edBiostatistics doctoral student Yu Zhaoit

Ruifeng Chen


Genentech, Inc.


Wenyi Lin


Pfizer Inc.

Yiran Zhang

-, Inc.

Yu Zhao


Bayer U.S. LLC



Spring 2021 




"Spatial variation in the joint effect of extreme heat events and ozone on respiratory hospitalizations" authored by fourth-year doctoral student Kristen Hansen, was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Kristen was also interviewed for "Lower-income ZIP code residents feel worse effects of extreme heat, ozone pollution: study" published on Smart Cities Dive. 



First-year doctoral student Christian Pascual was awarded the Society of Clinical Trials (SCT) Underrepresented Student Minority Engagement Award and was invited to speak as part of Dr. Sonia Jain's SCT session in collaboration with Dr. Eric Hekler





First-year doctoral student Yuwei Cheng is the recipient of the BSPH Outstanding TA Award for the 2020-2021 AY. 

Wang,-Xinran-F20.jpg First-year doctoral student Xinran Wang is the recipient of the MPH Outstanding TA Award for the 2020-2021 AY. 

Past Events (2020)

 Fall 2020 

Asian woman with dark hair wearing glasses and a green sweatshirt Biostatistics graduate student Wenyi Lin has published a paper where she shows that traditional machine learning algorithms can perform better than deep learning algorithms at classifying images when the training set is relatively small, as often encountered in medical settings. You can read the paper here



Loki Natarajan


On behalf of the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Loki Natarajan Dr. Natarajan served as Graduate Programs Director for the past 5 years with incredible dedication to our students' success. We wish Dr. Natarajan all the best as she focuses on her research and teaching commitments.  We are excited to have Dr. Florin Vaida taking on the role of Graduate Programs Director and Dr. Lin Liu as MS Program Director effective October 1, 2020


Summer 2020


Six (6) of our PhD students were hired for internships this summer.  Congratulations to Ruifeng Chen, Ruohui (Matt) Chen, Serene Jiang, Wenyi Lin, Jinyuan Liu, and Tyler Vu (pictured left to right below) for your accomplishments.  

Ruifeng edit Matt edit Serene edit Wenyi edit Jinyuan edit Tyler



PhD candidate, Brian Kwan, was nominated and selected for UC San Diego's Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars Program, which provides excellent opportunities for advanced graduate students to obtain faculty-mentored teaching experience.  Our Division's robust relationship with the Math Department allowed Brian to teach their precalculus (MATH 4-C) course for the summer session I. When reflecting on his first instructor-on-record experience, Brian writes "it was a rewarding experience that taught me the true nature of balancing scholarship, teaching, and service. Although teaching remotely wasn't what I had in mind, the experience prompted me to look within myself more than ever and discover strengths and weaknesses I didn't know I had as an instructor." Congratulations Brian!




Past Events (2019)


2nd year student, Jinyuan Liu (pictured above), has been named the “Clinical Statistics Intern” with Bayer Pharmaceuticals for the summer of 2019.  Congratulations, Jinyuan!


3rd year student, Brian Kwan (pictured above), was awarded the Lester R. Curtin Award and will be traveling to the 2019 Conference on Statistical Practice (CSP) in New Orleans, Lousiana, February 14-16, 2019.  You can learn more about Brian and his fellow CSP travel grant winners here. Congratulations, Brian!


3rd year student, Yuqi Qiu (pictured above), has been named the "2019 MRL Biostatistics Intern" with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp (better know as Merck). His work will be with a group that focuses on Neuroscience and Oncology.  Congratulations, Yuqi!

Past Events (2018)


Brian Kwan

Brian Kwan (pictured center) a third year Biostatistics PhD student, has been awarded a prestigious 5-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) for 2018. This competitive program in STEM fields has about a 10% award rate. Look for an upcoming article in AMSTAT news describing the NSF GRFP program.

Yuqi Qiu

Yuqi Qiu, a third year Biostatistics PhD Student, presenting his research in Alzheimer’s at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, April 2018.


Jinyuan at Conference

Jinyuan Liu (pictured third from left) second year Biostastistics PhD Student, presenting her research at the 2018 AIHN Meetup and Artificial Intelligence Horizons Colloqium.  Her research "Knowledge Extraction on Risk Factors of Loneliness: Natural Language Processing and Traditional Approaches" compares the risk factors of loneliness using traditional meta-analyses and Natural Language Processing methods.  (Also pictured her mentors/collaborators, from left to right: Dr. Colin Depp, Dr. Ellen Lee, and Dr. Dilip Jeste)