Professor Jingyi Jessica Li Receives the MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 Award

Professor Jingyi Jessica Li has received the MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 Award. The award cites her outstanding contributions for improving the scientificity and transparency of data analysis, including the Central Dogma. The Central Dogma refers to the process of DNA making mRNAs and mRNAs making proteins, one of the most fundamental principles in modern biological sciences.

MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 is an annual list that recognizes outstanding innovators who are younger than 35. The awards span a wide range of fields, including biotechnology, materials, computer hardware, energy, transportation, communications, and the Internet.

Recognition by MIT Technology Review gives these young people a platform to present themselves and their achievements to industry leaders, academic experts, and the global public. Each year, brilliant men and women are recognized for their advancements in diverse technical fields including biotechnology and medicine, computer and electronics hardware, software, internet, artificial intelligence, robotics, telecommunications, nanotechnology and materials, energy, and transportation. Congratulations to Professor Jingyi Jessica Li for winning this prestigious award!

For more detailed information about the Professor and the award, click here.

Do Hyun Kim Awarded GATP Fellowship Starting July 2021

Do Hyun Kim has been awarded the GATP (Genomic Analysis and Interpretation Training Program) Fellowship starting July 1st, 2021.

The Genomic Analysis Training Program is funded by a NIH grant and supports UCLA pre-doctoral students whose goal is to conduct research in genomics. The program is designed to insure that students obtain an adequate biological, computational and statistical foundation to succeed in this interdisciplinary field. Click here for more information.

Continued Student Awards 2021-2022

Joanna Boland, PhD student, has been awarded a 2021-2022 Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship.

Wenxi Yu, PhD, Receives a 2021 ATS Abstract Scholarship

Wenxi Yu, PhD, was selected to receive a 2021 ATS Abstract Scholarship based on the quality, as reviewed by the Assembly on Clinical Problems Program Committee Chair, of her abstract.

The abstract, titled "Developing 2D and 3D Deep Learning-Based Models for an Automated Diagnosis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Using Chest CT Scans" will appear at the 2021 conference of the American Thoracic Society (ATS).

FSPH Schoolwide Awards 2021-2022

Crystal Shaw, PhD, has been selected to receive a Raymond Goodman Scholarship.

Douglas Morrison, PhD, has been selected by Dean Ron Brookmeyer and academic leadership from across the Fielding School as the recipient of the Carolbeth Korn Prize.

Juhyun Kim, PhD, has been selected as the recipient of the Dean's Outstanding Student Award in Biostatistics.

Qi Qian, MS, has been selected to receive a Raymond Goodman Scholarship.

Alum Wei Zhu Named New Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and International Programs at Stony Brook University, New York

Alum Wei Zhu, who received a PhD in Biostatistics from UCLA, was recently named the new Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and International Programs at Stony Brook University in New York. In her 24-year tenure at Stony Brook University, Dr. Zhu has graduated 54 doctoral students.

For more information, visit

PhD Student Wenxi Yu Wins Medical Imaging Cum Laude Poster Award

PhD student Wenxi Yu is selected as the Cum Laude winner of the Computer-Aided Diagnosis Poster Award for her paper, “An automatic diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) using domain knowledge-guided attention models in HRCT images”, in the SPIE Medical Imaging 2021 conference. Her work, supervised by Biostatistics faculty Professors Grace Kim and Hua Zhou, is acknowledged by a physical certificate and a cash award sponsored by Siemens Healthineers in the amount of $500 USD.

Joint UCLA-Harvard study led by PhD student Jay Xu finds substantial racial/ethnic disparities in years of potential life lost attributable to COVID-19

A joint UCLA-Harvard study, led by UCLA Biostatistics PhD student Jay Xu, quantified
racial/ethnic disparities in years of potential life lost (YPLL) attributable to COVID-19, finding a
consistent pattern across states of non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics experiencing
disproportionately high and non-Hispanic Whites experiencing disproportionately low COVID-
19-attributable YPLL.

The team comprised of researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. UCLA faculty on the study include Tom Belin
(Biostatistics), Ron Brookmeyer (Biostatistics, Dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public
Health), Marc Suchard (Biostatistics, Human Genetics, Computational Medicine) and Christina
Ramirez (Biostatistics).

Using years of potential life lost – an epidemiological quantity that measures mortality via the
difference between an upper reference age (75 for this study) minus age at death if positive and
0 otherwise – to measure mortality, Xu’s team analyzed COVID-19 mortality data from the
National Center for Health Statistics as of December 30, 2020, characterizing YPLL-based
disparities in two ways: (1) estimating percentages of total YPLL by race/ethnicity, contrasting
them with their respective percent population shares, and (2) estimating age-adjusted YPLL rate
ratios (RR) – anchoring comparisons to non-Hispanic Whites – in each of 45 states and the
District of Columbia (D.C.).

To estimate these quantities, an adaptation of a novel Monte Carlo simulation procedure to
quantify the uncertainty of YPLL-based estimates that was recently developed by Xu, Belin,
and Ramirez [1] was used. For comparison, Xu’s team also calculated the corresponding
percentages total deaths and age-adjusted mortality rate ratios. The results of the analysis
revealed that racial/ethnic disparities in the COVID-19 mortality burden are generally greater in
magnitude when measuring mortality in terms of YPLL compared to (age-irrespective) death
counts, reflecting the greater intensity of the disparities at younger ages. Xu’s team also found
substantial state-to-state variability in the magnitudes of the estimated racial/ethnic disparities,
suggesting that they are driven in large part by social determinants of health whose degree of
association with race/ethnicity varies by state.

The associated paper is currently undergoing peer review, but a preliminary non-peer reviewed
report is available on medRxiv, accessible at

[1] Xu, Jay J., Thomas R. Belin, and Christina M. Ramirez. "Uncertainty quantification of years
of potential life lost-based estimates from mortality data summarized as death counts within age
intervals." Annals of Epidemiology 55 (2020): 1-3. Available at:

Dr. Christina Ramirez, professor in the department of Biostatistics has a new publication on PNAS

Dr. Christina Ramirez, professor in the department of Biostatistics has a new publication on PNAS.

An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19 . This paper is being coauthored with Biostatistics Ph.D. student, Gregory Watson and Professor Anne Rimoin from Epidemiology. This article was also mentioned by the New York Times.

Posted 13 January 2021

Professor Sudipto Banerjee Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Professor Sudipto Banerjee was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for innovative contributions to Bayesian methodology with focus on spatially indexed information; for high-impact applications; and for educational and mentoring excellence, professional service, and academic administration. For more information, visit:

Posted 8 January 2021