Rao named fellow of national statistical society


Dabeeru C. Rao, PhD, director of the Division of Biostatistics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation’s preeminent professional statistical society.

Rao, a professor of biostatistics in genetics and psychiatry, as well as a professor of mathematics, will be awarded a certificate recognizing his new status at a ceremony Aug. 6 at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings in Montréal.

To be recognized as an ASA Fellow, honorees must make outstanding professional contributions to and have exhibited leadership in the field of statistical science. Rao is being honored for a lifetime of distinguished contributions to advancing and promoting statistics in human genetics and for contributions to training biostatisticians and statistical geneticists. Individuals are nominated by their peers in the association.

“His accomplishments have contributed greatly to the advancement of statistical science and have rightfully earned him the respect and admiration of his ASA peers,” said ASA President Marie Davidian, a professor of statistics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

In his 40 years as a researcher, Rao has made substantive contributions to the study of human disease, most notably hypertension and related metabolic diseases. He has played a watershed role in the development of the field of genetic epidemiology, which involves developing statistical methods for evaluating the roles of nature and nurture in human disease.

He is the principal investigator of several National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants that support his research and has authored nearly 600 scientific articles. He also developed and directs three graduate and post-doctoral training programs in biostatistics and genetic epidemiology.

Rao, who last year was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in statistics and a doctorate in statistical genetics from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, India.

The ASA is the world’s largest community of statisticians and the second-oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. Its members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.