Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics Newsletter

Message from the Chair

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo

Friends and colleagues,

In case you missed it.....

At the end of May, the campus held its first Colloquium in Population Health and Health Equity, sponsored by the offices of the Executive Vice Chancellor and the School of Medicine Dean’s Office and organized by our very own Bob Hiatt. Dr. Sandro Galea - Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health - was the keynote speaker and delivered an outstanding talk on today’s public health challenges - guns, opioids, and obesity. His talk was followed by short presentations from Drs. Laura Jeliffe-Palowski, Tung Nguyen, and Hilary Seligman on UCSF-based population health initiatives. The afternoon ended with a panel discussion that included Dr. Claire Brindis, Dr. Galea, and myself, moderated by Dr. Kevin Grumbach on the subject of the role of academic medical centers in addressing issues in population health. This event was very well attended and the discussions were outstanding. I invite you to enjoy the video of the afternoon:

This colloquium was the first in a series of events that are part of UCSF’s Initiative in Population Health and Health Equity. In addition to regular colloquia on topics of timely importance, this initiative also seeks to increase collaborations and visibility of population health at UCSF and enhance the data infrastructure necessary for this type of research. Stay tuned as this initiative continues to develop for ways that you may like to be involved.

I wish you all a happy and healthy summer.



Georgina Lopez

The department made a strong showing at the annual SER conference in Baltimore last month with 18 trainees and faculty making poster and abstract presentations or participating on panels. Anusha Vable won the student prize in Poster Session #3.

STAR award

Congratulations to Alaric Battle, who received an Achievement Award for his overall contributions to the department and, in particular, his recent planning and execution of two major data center moves, both with minimal disruption to users.

Margaret Handley

The department is an awardee or collaborator on three Campus Strategic Initiative Awards. Margaret Handley will partner with Ralph Gonzales and others on a Healthcare Delivery System Design Certificate program; Mark Pletcher and Tung Nguyen will coordinate investment in technology and community engagement to support eCohorts at UCSF; and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo and others will work to expand population health data capacity at UCSF and UCSF Health.

More News:

  • Nine DEB staff received Spot Awards for exceptional performance. They are:
    • Liz Buggs for administrative support for the biostatistics faculty search
    • Warren Huang and Wilson Li for their support during the data center moves
    • Susanna Lam for resolving complex problems within her post-award portfolio
    • Feng Lin for extraordinary work on the BEST trial
    • David McFarland for his quick response to unexpectedly early announcement of faculty cost of living increases
    • Caroline Navy for managing the DXA Quality Assurance team
    • Chan Nguyen for revising the PhD program’s financial reporting methods
    • Susan Rubin for her support of the department’s first-ever Open Proposal process
  • Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo has been elected to the Princeton University Board of Trustees. She will serve a four-year term as an alumni trustee.
  • Congratulations to Priscilla Banks, Pamela Coxson, and Ann Schwartz, who recently retired. All three are on recall.
  • Welcome to our many new employees:
    • Brittany Chambers, a K12 scholar in the UCSF-Kaiser Building Interdisciplinary Research in Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCHWH) Program.
    • Alice Fishman, project manager
    • Kathy Lau and Zinnia Loya, survey researchers
    • Ellie Matthay, postdoctoral fellow with DEB and Evidence for Action group
    • Kim Rhoads, associate adjunct professor, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, and director of the Office of Community Engagement, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Patrick Yuan, senior clinical research coordinator
    • Andrea Aguirre, David Bloger, and Natalie Esperza, temporary recruiters for All of Us study
  • We also welcome student interns and volunteers:
    • Frank Cortez Alvarado
    • Elizabeth Danial
    • Shrikha Dasari
    • Savion Green
    • Edward Humphrey
    • David Portillo
    • Alexandra Theodosopoulos
    • Matthew Weisenberg
  • New babies: Tu Nguyen, a son named Sebastian, and Teresa Filshtein, a son named Leonid.

If you have news or honors you’d like to submit for an upcoming newsletter, send an email with the details to Anne Wolf.



It’s a quiet summer in the department, but start planning for these September events:

  • Testing High-Dimensional Non-Parametric Functions with Application in SNP/Gene Set Analysis
    Wednesday, Sept. 12, 3 to 5 pm
    Tao He, assistant professor, department of mathematics, San Francisco State University
  • Department Meeting for Faculty, Staff and Trainees
    Friday, Sept. 14, 11:20 am to 12:30 pm
    Lunch follows
  • Annual Invited Lecture in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
    The Stratified Micro-Randomized Trial with Application to Mobile Health
    Wednesday, Sept. 26, 3 to 5 pm
    Susan Murphy, PhD, Harvard University