Doctoral students enter dissertation phase after successfully completing both their Qualifying Exams and their coursework.

Engagement Requirements
  1. Maintain consistent and satisfactory progress on your dissertation (see Dissertation Progress below)
  2. Continue to fulfill the PhD student seminar requirement by attending at least 4 seminars or working groups per semester
  3. Attend at least 3 doctoral student presentations each semester
  4. Present the status of your dissertation research at least once per year
  5. Register for Continuing Study status each semester (including summer) to document active progress on your dissertation
Dissertation Progress: Reports due October and May

The Biostatistics Department and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences expect you to make consistent progress towards completion of your dissertation. In order to monitor this progress, you will:

  • Submit the first Dissertation Progress Update within 6 months of entering dissertation phase (within 6 months of having completed by the Qualifying Exams and coursework). The first progress update must include a general dissertation topic, a dissertation advisor, and an estimated timeline to completing the dissertation.
  • Submit a Dissertation Progress Update every October after meeting with the dissertation committee. The update must document the dissertation topic, at least 3 committee members, progress to date, and the expected timeline to completion. This form will be reviewed by the Biostatistics Program Advisory Committee.
  • Submit the SPH Doctoral Student Progress Report every May after meeting with the dissertation committee. The update must document the dissertation topic, at least 3 committee members, dissertation progress to date, and the expected timeline to completion. This form will be reviewed by your advisor(s), research mentor(s), and the SPH Education Office.

Please note: Students will be prevented from registering for the following semester until each dissertation progress update has been submitted.

General Resources

Writing Resources

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login, when available)
Seung Hoan Choi Anita DeStefano Evaluation of statistical methods, modeling, and multiple testing in RNA-SEQ studies
Paula Griffin Eric Kolaczyk Biological network models for inferring mechanism of action, characterizing cellular phenotypes, and predicting drug response
Jaeyoung Hong Ching-Ti Liu Meta-analysis strategies for heterogeneous studies in genome-wide association studies
Denis Rybin Gheorghe Doros Placebo response characteristic in sequential parallel comparison design studies
Luting Xue Kathy Lunetta Evaluation and extension of a kernel-based method for gene-gene interaction tests of common variants


Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login, when available)
Zhaoyang Teng Mark Chang Optimal and Adaptive Designs for Multi-Regional Clinical Trials with Regional Consistency Requirement
Shuai Wang Josée Dupuis Genetic Association Methods for Multiple Types of Traits in Family Samples
Michael Pickard Mark Cheng Estimation Methods in Adaptive Treatment-Selection Designs
Wei Gao Josée Dupuis Sequence Kernel Association Test, Gene-Environment Interaction Test, and Meta-Analysis for Family Samples with Repeated Measurements or Multiple Traits

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login, when available)
Caleb A Bliss Joseph Massaro Sample size re-estimation for superiority clinical trials with a dichotomous outcome using an unblended estimate of the control group outcome rate
Yansong Cheng Surajit Ray Some recent advances in multivariate statistics: Modality inference and statistical monitoring of clinical trials with multiple co-primary endpoints
Jamie Elizabeth Collins Elena Losina Informative censoring with an imprecise anchor event: Estimation of change over time and implications for longitudinal data analysis
Wei Guo Sample Size Re-Estimation in Active Controlled Non-Inferiority Clinical Trials Using a Frequentist Approach
Sarah Leatherman Gheorghe Doros Adaptive Methods for Bayesian Time-to-Event Point-of-Care Clinical Trial
Jacqueline Nicole Milton Paola Sebastiani Identifying Genetic Variants Associated with Multiple Correlated Traits and the Use of an Ensemble of Genetic Risk Models for Phenotype Prediction and Classification
Julius Suh Ngwa L. Adrienne Cupples Comparing Methods for Modeling Longitudinal and Survival Data, with Consideration of Mediation Analysis
Jing Wang Mark Chang Biomarker informed adaptive clinical trial designs
Joseph Wu Mark Chang Adaptive Methodologies in Multi-Arm Dose Response and Biosimilarity Clinical Trials

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Han Chen Josée Dupuis Statistical methods for genetic association studies: Multi-cohort and rare genetic variants approaches
Hailong Cheng Mike LaValley Meta-Analysis of Safety Data: Approximation of Arcsine Transformation and Application of Mixture Distribution Modelling
Jayandra Jung Himali Alexa Beiser Effect of selection of censoring times on survival analysis estimation of disease incidence and association with risk factors
Chen Lu Josée Dupuis New approaches to identify gene-by-gene interactions in genome wide association studies
Stephanie Lustgarten Gheorghe Doros Non-Parametric Prediction of Event Times for Analysis of Failure-Time Data
Carlee Brooks Moser Laura White A Bayesian framework for incorporating multiple data sources and heterogeneity in the analysis of infectious disease outbreaks
Louie-Gao Qiong Serkalem Demissie Multiple phenotype modeling in pleiotropic effect studies of quantitative trait loci
Lin Ye Song Michael J. Pencina and Ralph B. D’Agostino, Sr. Re-calibration and discrimination in survival risk prediction functions
Charles C. White Joseph M. Massaro Evaluating and extending a Bayesian approach to using historical control data in an actively controlled non-inferiority clinical trial
Siyan Xu Ralph B. D’Agostino Sr. Statistical considerations of noninferiority, bioequivalence and equivalence testing in biosimilars studies
Lei Zhu Ralph B. D’Agostino Sr. Procedures for identifying and modeling time-to-event data in the presence of non-proportionality

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Olga Demler Ralph D’Agostino Impact of New Variables on Discrimination of Risk Prediction Models
Stephen Hartley Paola Sebastiani Bayesian Methods for Multivariate Modeling of Pleiotropic Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Genetic Risk Prediction
William “Bill” Reichmann Elena Losina Methods of Subgroup Analysis: Estimation of Risk and Implications for Randomized Controlled Trial Design
Ke Wang Howard Cabral Multistate Markov Chain Transition Models for Clustered Longitudinal Categorical Data: Categorical Data: Application to A Knee Pain Severity Study
Wei Vivian Zhuang Kathryn Lunetta Using Phenotyped But Ungenotyped Relatives in Genetic Association Tests
Rong Li Al Ozonoff Synchrony of Time Series with Applications to Surveillance Data
Xiaopeng Miao Ashis Gangopadhyay Statistical Evaluation of Surrogate Markers in Randomized Clinical Trials
Vanessa Xanthakis Michael Pencina Assessing Methods for Inclusion of New Disease Markers into Risk Prediction Models

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Leah Isakov Ralph D’Agostino Analysis of Clinicial Trials with Delayed Treatment Effects
Alisa Manning Adrienne Cupples Statistical Advances in Gene by Gene Interaction and Gene by Environment Interaction in the Era of Genome-Wide Association Studies
Alison Pedley Joseph Massaro Applying Survival Analysis Techniques to Interim Analysis and Sample Size Reassessment of Clinical Trials with a Dichotomous Endpoint
Gina Peloso Kathy Lunetta Population Structure in Genetic Association Studies:  Genetic Principal Component Adjustment and the Use of Family Data
Nadia Solovieff Paola Sebastiani Clustering by Genetic Ancestry Using Genome-Wide Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Incorporating Genetic Ancestry into Genetic Risk Prediction Models

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Emily Blood Debbie Cheng Performance of Mixed Effects models in the Analysis of Mediated Longitudinal Data Generated from a Structural Equation Model
Yangchun Du Alexa Beiser Measuring Effects of Risk Factors on Cumulative Incidence and Remaining Lifetime Risk in the Presence of Competing Risks
Asya Lyass Joseph Massaro Assessing if Randomized Treatment Group should be Included in the Imputation Model when Imputing Mission Outcome Data in Randomized Superiority Clinical Trials
Sandeep Menon Joseph Massaro Performance Evaluation and Operating Characteristics of Commonly Used Two Stage Adaptive Designs and Extension of the Sample Size Calculation Method to a Poisson Endpoint
Jian Rong Al Ozonoff On Weighted Regression of Time Series for Surveillance of Influenza Mortality
Mei Yang Ashis Gangopadhyay A Bayesian Approach to Bias Correction in Effect Estimates Due to Disease Misclassification: Applications in Arthritis Research
Robin Young Janice Weinberg Properties of Hypothesis Tests Using Generalized Additive Models with Smoothers of Geographic Location in Spatial Statistics
Yanyan Zhu Howard Cabral Stratified Proportional Odds Models for Multilevel Ordinal Data with Application to a Knee Pain Severity Study

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Lori Beth Chibnik Lisa Sullivan Development and Evaluation of Risk Prediction Models In the Presence of Correlated Markers and Non-Linear Associations Between Markers and Outcomes Using Logistic Regression and Net Benefit Analysis
Anh-Hoa Nguyen Kathy Lunetta Family-Based Association Tests and Genetic Risk Scores for Survival Data
Margaret Roulon Stedman David Gagnon A Comparison of Methods for Physician Randomized Trials with Binary and Survival Outcomes
Suporn Sukraprut Mike LaValley The Estimation of The Probability of Treatment Greater than Control in Clinical Trials
Hongsheng Wu Qiong Yang Methods for Genetic Association Studies Using Longitudinal and Multivariate Phenotypes in Families
Xiaoyan Yin Martin Larson Genetic Association Analyses of Time-to Event Data: Selection Bias and imputation with examples from the Framingham Heart Study

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Kelly Cho Josée Dupuis Handling Linkage Disequilibrium in Linkage Analysis Using Dense Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms
Sophia Lee Joseph Massaro Analysis of Correlated Binary Data in Non-Inferiority Trials
Maria Montez-Rath Cindy Christiansen Models for Non-Additive Interaction Effects
Amy Scaramucci Alexa Beiser A Modified Log Rank Test to Account for Left Truncated Survival Data: A Comparison with the Usual Log Rank Test
Ling Wang Paola Sebastiani Bayesian Model-Based Clustering of Short Time Series

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Michelle Keyes Martin Larson Statistical analysis of data with a dense sequence of measurements from medical devices for evaluating subclinical disease
Chunyu Liu Josée Dupuis Selection of the Most Informative Individuals from Families with Multiple Siblings for Association Studies
Soe Soe Thwin Adrienne Cupples The analysis of longtudinal binary response data observed over unequal time intervals
Bingxia Wang Elena Losina The Role of Alternative Statistical Methods of CD4 Cell Count Estimation in Quantifying HIV-Related Morbidity and Mortality
Jing Xu Mike LaValley Alternative Approaches for Analyzing Over and Under Dispersed Person Time Data

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Jiang Li Mike LaValley Modeling of Silent Events and Evaluation of Biomarkers in a Prospective Study with Scheduled Follow-Up
Michael Posner Arlene Ash Propensity Scores: When Are They Needed and Methods of Implementation

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Fang Zhang Adrienne Cupples Age Dependent QTL Analysis Using Gibbs Sampling for Random Effects Models

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Usha  Govindarajulu Ralph D’Agostino The selection of frailty models and the development of a frailty model for unexplained heterogeneity in the Framingham Heart Study
Chao-Yu Guo Adrienne Cupples Extensions of Family-Based Genetic Tests of Linkage and/or Association for a Dichotomous Trait
Eric Leip Martin Larson Adapting a method for applying the Cox proportional hazards model when the change time of a binary time-varying covariate is interval censored

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Michael Nicolaou Adrienne Cupples Comparison of Study Designs and Model-Free Methods of Linkage Analysis for a Qualitative Trait using Sib pairs

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Serkalem Demissie Adrienne Cupples Complete case analysis and multiple imputation for survival data with missing covariates
Jennifer Lee Tim Heeren Influence of floor effects on the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve
Byung-Ho Nam Ralph D’Agostino Discrimination and calibration in survival analysis: Extension of area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for discrimination and chi-square test for calibration
Sowmya Rao Robert Glynn Inference for multi-wave surveys with nonresponse

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Nicole LaVallee Ralph D’Agostino Detecting treatment effects in repeated measures studies when symptoms are decreasing spontaneously over time

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Howard Cabral Adrienne Cupples Analysis of Repeated Ordinal Response Data: A Comparison of Population-Averaged and Cluster-specific Methods using Generalized Estimating Equations and the Gibbs Sampler
Philimon Gona Martin Larson Models of Semi-Markov Processes with Right Censoring
Elena Losina Robert Glynn Performance of Alternative Statistical Models for Bivariate Binary Data in Samples of Small and Moderate Size
Adam Parker Ralph D’Agostino The performance of classification trees with data missing completely at random

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
David R. Gagnon Adrienne Cupples The Analysis of Correlated Survival Data with a Non-susceptible Fraction and Extensive Missing Data

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Andrew I. Damokosh Adrienne Cupples Criteria-based Model Selection Methods and Cross-validation for Polynomial Distributed Lag Models and Generalized Estimating Equations

Student Advisor Dissertation Title (accessible with BU login)
Manar Elsheikh Abdel-Rahman Adrienne Cupples Comparisons of Tests for Trend in Proportions with Small Samples