Division of Biostatistics


Lead by Sarah J. Ratcliffe, Ph.D, Division faculty and staff are engaged in original biostatistical methodological research, collaborative research, and teaching across many diverse areas.

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Biostatistical Methodological Research

Areas of methodological research include causal inference, clinical trials, functional data analysis, imaging, longitudinal data analysis, machine learning, nonparametric statistics, predictive analytics, spatial analysis, survival analysis, and time series analysis. Division faculty are Principal Investigators on projects funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health and other governmental and private sources. Research projects include biostatistical and epidemiological investigations of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (Dr. Guofen Yan), causal effects of chronic kidney disease associated physiologic factors (Dr. Jennie Ma), design and analysis of comparative effective research using complex healthcare data (Dr. Hong Zhu), spatio-temporal and Bayesian analysis of interventions (Dr. Pavel Chernyavskiy), improving diagnostic accuracy in maternal and pediatric outcomes (Dr. Soutik Ghosal), and development of predictive tools for transplant outcomes (Dr. Sarah Ratcliffe).

Collaborative Research

The Division provides statistical expertise for the School of Medicine, the Health System, UVA, industry, governmental agencies, and foundations. This includes facilitating and enhancing research and providing assistance in developing new grant proposals, designing new studies, developing analytical schemes for large and/or complicated data sets, and providing direct data analyses. Division faculty and staff also provide consultation and collaboration through the PHS department Consultation and Collaboration Program.


Division faculty and staff teach formal courses in Public Health Sciences, teach short courses / seminars, and advise students and trainees within and beyond Public Health Sciences.


Division faculty are actively engaged in a variety of national organizations such as the American Statistical Association, ENAR, and NIH and its study sections. They serve on numerous journal editorial boards and review panels, Data Safety Monitoring Boards, as well as a wide variety of important committees of the School of Medicine and University.

Recent Division Highlights

  • Drs. Soutik Ghosal and Debamita Kundu joined the division as Assistant Professors in June 2022.
  • Dr. Sarah Ratcliffe received the 2021 Dean’s Excellence in Faculty Research Award, Senior Individual Researcher
  • Dr. Pavel Chernyavskiy joined the division as an Assistant Professor in February 2021.
  • Dr. Guofen Yan’s research was selected for American Society of Nephrology Newswire release, entitled “Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mortality for Patients on Dialysis in U.S. Territories and States”, Washington, DC, December 19, 2019