Appointment of Enrique Fabian Schisterman, PhD, MA, as Chair, Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics

December 21, 2020

To:Faculty, Students, and Staff

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Dean, Perelman School of Medicine
EVP, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System

Jonathan A. Epstein, MD
Executive Vice Dean & Chief Scientific Officer
Perelman School of Medicine

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Enrique Fabian Schisterman, PhD, MA, as Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics in the Perelman School of Medicine, effective February 1, 2021. Dr. Schisterman, whose expertise bridges biostatistics and epidemiology, is a national leader in epidemiological methods and reproductive epidemiology. He is currently senior investigator and Epidemiology Branch Chief in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Schisterman is widely recognized for his leadership in fueling new methodological development, improving study designs, and solving analytic challenges. He has contributed substantially to developing new methods within domains ranging from pooling biomarkers to evaluate exposures, to collinearity in causal inference frameworks. Dr. Schisterman’s research program focuses on both methodological components of exposure assessment, particularly the use of biomarkers, and the etiologic study of reproduction, including randomized trials of low-cost interventions to improve reproductive function.

Dr. Schisterman has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals in the fields of methodological and etiological research. At the NIH, where he has worked since 2002, he has completed the BioCycle Study, a prospective observational study to assess the relationships between endogenous hormones and biomarkers of oxidative stress and other biomarkers across the menstrual cycle. He designed and completed important randomized trials for low-cost interventions to improve fertility in couples, including the Effects of Aspirin on Gestation and Reproduction Trial, a randomized clinical trial designed to investigate the effects of low-dose aspirin therapy on pregnancy incidence, live birth, and other outcomes in women with a previous pregnancy loss, and the Folic Acid and Zinc Supplementation Trial to determine if folate/zinc supplementation improves semen quality and outcomes among couples seeking infertility treatment.

Dr. Schisterman is Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Epidemiology, and has served as editor for multiple journals. In keeping with his distinguished academic record, Dr. Schisterman is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He is the immediate past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, has received the Outstanding Contributions to Epidemiology in Methods Development Award from the American College of Epidemiology, the Excellence in Education Award from the Society of Epidemiologic Research, and is an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society.

In addition to being recognized for his research and leadership, Dr. Schisterman has a distinguished track record of teaching and mentoring, for which he has received multiple awards. He is on the faculty of Universidad de Chile Summer Institute, previously served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has received extramural funding to support training for numerous pre- and postdoctoral fellows.

Dr. Schisterman earned his BA in statistics at Haifa University and both his master's degree in statistics and his PhD in epidemiology from the State University of New York, Buffalo. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2000.

Dr. Schisterman’s appointment follows a national search led by Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD, Eugene P. Pendergrass Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology. We are grateful to Dr. Schnall and the Search Committee for their thorough work to bring Dr. Schisterman to Penn. His appointment begins the next phase of leadership of this outstanding department, which under the previous leadership of Dr. Harv Feldman has been positioned to become one of the very best in the country. We would also like to extend our deep appreciation to Susan S. Ellenberg, PhD, for her steadfast leadership as interim chair as the search proceeded.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Schisterman on his appointment as the next Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics and welcoming him to Penn.