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Archived E-Newsletters

Spring 2018

Breaking News

We're (All) #1!

Congratulations Biostatistics

JHSPH ties for a top spot among Biostatistics Departments in a ranking of the nation’s Best Graduate Schools

We are grateful for Dean Ellen MacKenzie's gracious remarks upon learning the news:

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,

I’m writing to share the wonderful news that our Department of Biostatistics has tied for the top spot among Biostatistics departments in the recent U.S. News & World Report ranking of the nation’s Best Graduate Schools. The Department is tied for the No. 3 spot among Statistics and Biostatistics departments combined.

This ranking, the highest yet for our Biostatistics department, provides only a snapshot of the Department’s longstanding tradition of incredible work. Recent areas of impact include research to:

When we learned this news, department chair Karen Bandeen-Roche told me that peers in the field have remarked to her that “our department does it all—from pushing the frontiers of data science to making fundamental discoveries in biostatistics methodology. I’ve known for a long time that our faculty are doing extraordinary, exceptionally innovative work throughout the interface of our field and health science discovery. I believe this ranking is an appreciation of that.” She also credited the visibility the Department’s members have been earning through Coursera outreach, opinion pieces and social media.

Please join me in congratulating all the faculty, trainees and staff of our top-ranked Biostatistics department on this well-deserved recognition.



Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, MSc ’75
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University

The Major Extremity Trauma and Rehabilitation Research Consortium

View U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the nation's Best Graduate Statistics Programs here!

Star Power

The App-Building Public Health Ambassador

JHSPH Ambassadors

PhD candidate, Ben Ackerman is making headlines with his recent selection as a “This is Public Health” Ambassador and a new student tax app.

In August 2017, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) announced the inaugural cohort of “This is Public Health” Ambassadors. Representatives from 13 different schools and programs were selected through an application process to serve for one academic year as “ambassadors” for public health.

Ambassadors help elevate awareness of public health research and its impact on individuals, communities and whole populations. Additionally, ambassadors serve as liaisons for prospective students of public health, helping them identify potential academic paths and opportunities. They attend graduate school fairs and host webinars to answer questions from prospective students, and participate in social media takeovers to give new perspectives on various paths in public health.

Ben is one of two Bloomberg School students who are among the first contingent of ambassadors. Read on to learn more about his path to public health and what he enjoys most about Baltimore!

Just months after being chosen to represent JHSPH as a public health ambassador, Ben’s web app to estimate tax reform implications for graduate students was picked up by Science magazine’s piece entitled,  “U.S. science groups make last-minute push to influence final tax deal” (Ben’s feature is under the “Tuition Waivers” section).

Keep up the amazing work, Ben!

Fresh Faces

Meet our Incoming Faculty

Stephanie Hicks

Join us in welcoming our newest assistant professor, Stephanie Hicks!

Stephanie received both her M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Statistics at Rice University under the direction of Marek Kimmel and Sharon Plon; she earned her B.S. in Mathematics from LSU.

She completed her postdoctoral training with Rafael Irizarry in the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This postdoctoral research resulted in a K99/R00 grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop statistical methods for the normalization and quantification of single-cell RNA-Sequencing data.

Stephanie’s research interests include statistics, data science, missing data, single cell data, genomics, epigenomics and functional genomics.

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Hicks to the department.

Notes From Abroad

Where in the world is Roger Peng?

Roger Peng holding koala bear

We get a quick check-in with professor, Roger Peng as he nears the end of his year-long sabbatical in Australia.

For the academic year 2017-2018 I have been on sabbatical visiting Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Specifically, I've been visiting Di Cook and Rob Hyndman, who lead the statistics group here in the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics. It has been an absolutely fantastic visit, as I've been surrounded by wonderful colleagues and talented students. The department here at Monash has been great and has welcomed me into all of their activities. While here I've primarily been working on writing my book, currently titled Advanced Statistical Computing. The book is based on my lecture notes from teaching Biostatistics 140.778 since 2005. I noticed that some of the ink on my handwritten notes was starting to fade, so I decided it was high time to get them into a book before I lost them forever! You can track the progress of my book on bookdown. I've also kept up with my podcasts -- Not So Standard Deviations with Hilary Parker of Stitch Fix and The Effort Report with Elizabeth Matsui at JHU -- recording them remotely from down under. In addition to my own work, I've been learning a lot from Di's and Rob's group about techniques for data visualization and new frameworks for data analysis software development (particularly, the tidyverse method of development). I hope to incorporate many of these ideas into my teaching and research in the future.

My family and I have adapted well to Melbourne and my son, Eli, enjoys going to the primary school here where he is picking up the local lingo and customs. We may need to stock up on Vegemite when we return to Baltimore!

I leave you here with a picture of me petting a koala at the Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane. I don't think he appreciated it.


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