UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Professor Recognized by National Institute of Statistical Sciences

Sample Faculty Member has been honored for “highly influential and innovative contributions” in the field of computational biology.

Dr. Marc Suchard, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, has been recognized as an outstanding researcher by the National Institute of Statistical Sciences with the institute’s 2021 Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research.

“Today, more than ever, in the middle of a global pandemic, trying to ensure that reliable and replicable inferential based evidence really does help our communities move forward towards safety,” Suchard said. “This is an important laudable goal, and also a key role to play for many of us as statisticians.”

The award, named in honor of Dr. Jerome Sacks, director emeritus of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) and a professor emeritus of statistical sciences at Duke University, was presented to Suchard in recognition of his research work and teaching, NISS officials said.

“Marc Suchard was nominated and selected for this annual award that NISS confers each year on someone outstanding in their field,” said Dr. James Rosenberger, the institute’s director. “He was recognized for his highly influential and innovative contributions to the cross-disciplinary field of computational biology, including rigorous mathematical developments, advanced numerical and statistical computing, and software development, particularly in the area of phylogenetics.”

The NISS, based in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1990 to foster cross disciplinary and cross-sector research in the statistical sciences. Suchard is set to deliver a lecture at the NISS annual meeting in August, 2022, Rosenberger said.

Suchard, who has taught at UCLA since 2002 at the Fielding School and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is both a physician and a mathematician in the forefront of high-performance statistical computing. He focuses on biomedical research and in the clinical application of statistics, using data science in the field of evolutionary medicine, harnessing evolutionary biology methods and theory to advance doctors' understanding of human disease processes. He holds both an MD (’04) and a PhD (’02) from UCLA, and was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2012.

Other recent recognition includes his listing by Clarivate Analytics as one of the most highly cited researchers — the scholars whose work was most often referenced by other scientific research papers in 21 fields in the sciences and social sciences – globally in 2021.

The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.