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Mark L. Van Natta, MHS

  • Associate Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

  • Epidemiology (Primary)
    • Division: Clinical Trials and Evidence Synthesis

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room 5025B
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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MHS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1987


I have over 30 years experience working at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a biostatistician on National Institutes of Health-funded multi-center studies including randomized clinical trials, long-term prospective cohort studies, and nested case-control studies. I provide expertise in the design, collection and analysis of these studies as well as expertise in the administrative leadership and direction

  • clinical trials
  • observational studies
  • sample size
  • AIDS, gastroparesis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • asthma
  • emphysema

Below are five of my significant contributions to science starting with the reference, description of the contribution and my specific role to the contribution.

  • Prevalence of Intermediate-Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Patients with AIDS. Jabs DA, Van Natta ML, Sezgin E, Pak JW and Danis R for the Studies of the Ocular Complications of AIDS Research Group. Am J Ophthal, (accepted) Due to advent of combination antiretroviral therapy and resulting longer survival, many patients with AIDS are diagnosed with conditions associated with accelerated / accentuated aging. Among these conditions, we found a 4-fold increased prevalence of intermediate-stage age-related macular degeneration as compared to age and gender-matched normals. This is a novel finding. I was the primary data analyst and statistician for the publication.
  • Incidence and Long-term Outcomes of the HIV Neuroretinal Disorder in Patients with AIDS Jabs DA, Drye L, Van Natta ML, Thorne JE, Holland GN for the Studies of Ocular Complications of AIDS Research Group.. Ophthalmology. 2015 Jan 15. pii: S0161-6420(14)01078-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.11.009. PubMed PMID: 25600199. Patients with AIDS are at risk for neuroretinal disorder (NRD) characterized by decreased contrast sensitivity. Cumulative risk of NRD is 51% at 20 years since diagnosis of AIDS. Patients with NRD are at increased risk of mortality, visual impairment and blindness. This is a novel finding. I was a data analyst and statistician for this publication.
  • Design and validation of a histological scoring system for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Kleiner DE, Brunt EM, Van Natta M, Behling C, Contos MJ, Cummings OW, Ferrell LD, Liu YC, Torbenson MS, Unalp-Arida A, Yeh M, McCullough AJ, Sanyal AJ; Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network. Hepatology. 2005 Jun;41(6):1313-21. PMID: 15915461 Histology is the gold standard for diagnosis and assessment of severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Prior to this scoring system, there was no standardized format for assessment of histologic components of NAFLD. We developed and validated a scoring system for 19 histologic features of NAFLD including a NAFLD Activity Score and a fibrosis score for use in clinical research including clinical trials and cohort studies. I was the primary data analyst and statistician for the publication. This scoring system is in widespread use and is my most cited work. Currently, Google Scholar lists 2,772
  • Effect of inhaled glucocorticoids in childhood on adult height. Kelly HW, Sternberg AL, Lescher R, Fuhlbrigge AL, Williams P, Zeiger RS, Raissy HH, Van Natta ML, Tonascia J, Strunk RC; CAMP Research Group. N Engl J Med. 2012 Sep 6;367(10):904-12. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1203229. Epub 2012 Sep 3. PMID: 22938716 Although the use of glucocorticoids for asthma during childhood resulted in decrease growth rate, it was not known if this was persistent or whether there would be later catch-up. Results from 943 asthmatics showed that after an initial decrease of 1.2 cm in height during 1st year of glucocorticoid use, there was no further decrease or catch-up using adult attained height. This is a novel finding. I performed and interpreted sensitivity analyses using multiple imputation for 9% of patients missing adult height.
  • Farnesoid X nuclear receptor ligand obeticholic acid for non-cirrhotic, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (FLINT): a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Neuschwander-Tetri BA, Loomba R, Sanyal AJ, Lavine JE, Van Natta ML, Abdelmalek MF, Chalasani N, Dasarathy S, Diehl AM, Hameed B, Kowdley KV, McCullough A, Terrault N, Clark JM, Tonascia J, Brunt EM, Kleiner DE, Doo E; for the NASH Clinical Research Network.Lancet. 2014 Nov 7. pii: S0140-6736(14)61933-4. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61933-4. PMID: 25468160 There is no FDA-approved treatment for patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. We performed a multicenter, clinical trial randomizing 283 patients with NASH to treatment for 72 weeks with obeticholic acid or placebo. Results include improvement of histologic features and liver enzymes on obeticholic acid but long-term safety effects needing more study. I was the primary data analyst and statistician for this publication. This was a phase 2b clinical trial and may be used for FDA-approval. My claim to infamy is that there are 2 errata for this publication because of mistakes I made in the analysis that were discovered up to 1 year after publication.