Dabeeru Rao: Leading Advances in Biostatistics

Dabeeru Rao: A Trailblazer in Genetic Epidemiology

In the realm of biostatistics and genetic epidemiology, few names shine as brightly as Dabeeru Rao. Born on April 6, 1946, this Indian-American statistical geneticist has made significant strides in his field, leaving an indelible mark on the scientific community. As a professor and the director of the Division of Biostatistics at Washington University School of Medicine, Rao’s career spans over four decades, marked by groundbreaking research and unwavering dedication to advancing statistical science in human genetics.

Early Life and Education of Dabeeru Rao

Dabeeru Rao’s journey into the world of statistical genetics began at the Indian Statistical Institute, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1971. His doctoral thesis, titled “A Statistical Study of Tongue Pigmentation in Man,” was supervised by the eminent statistician C. R. Rao. This foundational work laid the groundwork for what would become a prolific career in genetics and biostatistics.

University of Hawaii

From 1971 to 1979, Dabeeru Rao served as a geneticist at the University of Hawaii’s Population Genetics Laboratory. During this period, he collaborated with renowned geneticist Newton Morton. This experience was instrumental in shaping Rao’s expertise in population genetics, setting the stage for his future contributions to the field.

Washington University School of Medicine

In 1980, Dabeeru Rao joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine as an associate professor and the founding director of the Division of Biostatistics. His leadership and vision were quickly recognized, leading to his promotion to full professor in 1982. For over 40 years, Rao has been at the helm of the Division of Biostatistics, steering it towards excellence and innovation.

Genetic Epidemiology

One of Rao’s most significant contributions is in the field of genetic epidemiology. He has been pivotal in developing statistical methods to evaluate the roles of genetic and environmental factors in human disease. His research has provided critical insights into conditions such as hypertension and related metabolic diseases, influencing public health approaches and treatment strategies.

Training and Mentorship

Beyond his research, Dabeeru Rao is dedicated to training the next generation of biostatisticians and statistical geneticists. He developed and directs three graduate and post-doctoral training programs in biostatistics and genetic epidemiology. His commitment to education ensures that his legacy will continue through the numerous students and professionals he has mentored.

Honors and Recognition

Rao’s outstanding contributions have not gone unnoticed. In 1996, he served as the president of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society and was the founding editor-in-chief of its official journal, Genetic Epidemiology, in 1984. His peers have repeatedly recognized his leadership and impact, culminating in his election as a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2013 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recent years.

ASA Fellowship

Being named a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) is a testament to Dabeeru Rao’s lifetime of distinguished contributions to statistical science. ASA President Marie Davidian commended him, stating, “His accomplishments have contributed greatly to the advancement of statistical science and have rightfully earned him the respect and admiration of his ASA peers.”

A Legacy of Scientific Excellence

Throughout his career, Dabeeru C. Rao has authored nearly 600 scientific articles, contributing extensively to our understanding of human genetics and disease. His work has been supported by numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), underscoring the significance and impact of his research.

Also Read:Uma Pemmaraju: A Legacy of Excellence in Broadcasting

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.