Amid The Pandemic, B&B Expands

Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff hired during pandemic. 

Meet our ‘pandemic' hires: faculty, staff, researchers who arrived to the Department over the last year.  For some, it was a simple move across campus to a new department to the same or similar job. For others it was a new job, new department, but still Duke. But the last category, Durham and North Carolina were new, Duke was new and maybe the job was new too.  For all hires, they started working with us in a virtual capacity. Many have never visited their new office, met their coworkers, or even their bosses, in person.  Meet them now!


Hrishikesh Chakraborty, PhD, is new to the Department, but not to Duke.  Prior to this appointment, he served as the Biostatistics Director for the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and continues to serve as the Associate Director of DCRI’s Clinical Trial Statistics Group and as Director of DCRI’s Pragmatic Clinical Trial Biostatistics Group.  Chakraborty received his Doctor of Public Health in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Matthew Engelhard, MD, PhD, completed his postdoctoral fellowship in machine learning for mental health in the Duke Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Engelhard received his MD and PhD in Systems and Information Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He serves as a course director for courses in data science for the Master of Management of Clinical Informatics and also in the Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research Training Program. 

Zhicheng (Jason) JiPhD, received his PhD in Biostatistics and a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from the Johns Hopkins University.  His primary research interest is developing novel statistical and computational methods for integrating and analyzing big and complex genomic data, especially data from single-cell sequencing.

Eric LaberPhD, received his PhD in Statistics from University of Michigan, and comes to Duke by way of the NC State Department of Statistics.  He holds joint appointments with the Department of Statistical Sciences and the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. His current research focuses on precision medicine and data-driven decision making. 

Xiaoyue Ni, PhD, received her PhD from the California Institute of Technology and comes to Duke from the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics at Northwestern University. She holds joint appointments with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Pratt School of Engineering and the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.  Her work focuses on human-oriented materials intelligence through the combination of soft electronics and digital metamaterials—the materials can sense human signals, transform and adapt their functional properties according to human actions or status.

Pixu Shi, PhD, arrives from the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin - Madison.  She received her PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research interests include statistical methods for microbiome research, cancer genomics, integration of omic data, and high-dimensional statistical inference. 

Jesse Troy, PhD, relocated from the Duke Department of Pediatrics to Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.  He received his PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh and an MPH in from the George Washington University.  Jesse also has a BS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. Jesse supports research in cell therapies and regenerative medicine at the Duke Marcus Center for Cellular Cures, and research studies in cancer therapeutics and palliative care at the Duke Cancer Institute. He also teaches courses in the Master of Biostatistics and Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research Training Programs and serves as Associate Director of Graduate Studies for the Master of Biostatistics Program.

Anru Zhang, PhD, is a visiting professor. Zhang received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include: statistical learning theory, tensor learning, high-dimensional statistical inference, convex/non-convex optimization, and the applications in genomics and computational imaging.

Faculty hired during the pandemic.
Faculty hired during the pandemic. 



Yuanyuan Guo, PhD, received her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Missouri Columbia. Yuanyuan had research experience in survival analysis and longitudinal data analysis in her thesis. Her current postdoctoral research involves dynamic prediction for multi-omics data in Alzheimer's Disease. She is working with Faculty Sheng Luo.  

Bin Luo, PhD, received his PhD in Statistics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.    His research interest focuses on high-dimensional data analysis, robust statistics and statistical genetics.                          

Akash Roy, PhD, received his PhD in Statistics from the University of Texas at Dallas.  Akash’s research interests include Nonparametric rank based methods, clustered data, and survival analysis.  He is working with Faculty Susan Halabi.

Xiaming XuPhD

Qian Yang, PhD, received her PhD in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences from Dartmouth College. Qian’s doctoral research focused on joint modeling of survival and longitudinal Medicare expenditures in elderly fracture cohorts. Her current postdoctoral research involves identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers, and prognostic model development using penalized regression methods for overall survival in clinical trials data. Qian is working with Faculty Susan Halabi.   

PostDocs hired during the pandemic.
PostDocs hired during the pandemic.


Research Staff

Amanda Brucker, PhD, Amanda earned her PhD in Statistics from North Carolina State University. She previously worked at the Duke Clinical Research Institute primarily studying CVD populations using survival analysis, regression, and predictive modeling methods. Prior to that, she worked at the National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health. 

Alexander Gordee, MA , Alex earned his MA in Statistics from the University of California – Santa Barbara. He currently collaborates with clinicians and researchers in the Department of Surgery and the Division of Emergency Medicine within the Department of Surgery. His statistical interests include regression modeling, the analysis of longitudinal and correlated data, and statistical learning algorithms. 

Samantha MorrisonPhD, Samantha earned her PhD in Biostatistics from Brown University.  She collaborates with clinicians and researchers in the Department of Radiology and in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine.  Her research focuses on development and evaluation of prediction models in the presence of incomplete outcome data.  Her areas of interest include machine learning methods and survival analysis.

Emily Poehlein, MB, Emily earned her MB in Biostatistics from Duke University. She is currently collaborating with researchers and clinicians in the Department of Orthopaedic surgery and providing quantitative/qualitative support for trials at The Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3) at Duke University School of Medicine. Her statistical interests include clinical trial design and survival analysis.

Tyler Schappe, MS, Tyler earned his first MS in Botany & Plant Pathology with a concentration in molecular biology from Oregon State University and his second MS in Statistics with a concentration in statistical genetics from North Carolina State University.  Prior to Duke, Tyler was a research assistant at NC State University. He currently collaborates with researchers in the Abdominal Transplant Division of the Department of Surgery and in the Center for AIDS Research . His main interests include hierarchical linear models, spatial statistics, bioinformatics/-omics research, and Bayesian inference.

Anna (Chun) Xu, MB, Anna Xu earned her Master of Biostatistics from Duke University. Currently, she collaborates with researchers from Duke Transplant Center. Her statistical interests include longitudinal analysis, machine learning and electronic health records-based research.


Research Staff hired during the pandemic.
Research Staff hired during the pandemic.