Home About SI Stat Products & Solutions Educational Programs Contact Us
Center Personnel
Contact Info.
Online Inquiry

The Semel Institute Biostatistics Core (SIStat)
is a team of expert biostatisticians, methodologists and research support staff. The mission of the Core is to foster research productivity and quality by helping faculty design sound research projects, obtain independent funding, and analyze data correctly. Grant development services such as design and statistical consultation, power analysis, and analyses of pilot data are available to Semel Institute and all UCLA faculty without charge.

Continuing Core services to funded projects and programs are negotiated on a case by case basis. The Core provides investigators from fully-affiliated projects and their statistical staff access to SIStat consultation, data analysis and programming services, up to one year post-funding support for final, "clean-up" data analyses, and permanent archiving of data. SIStat also offers fee-based consulting and data analysis to Semel Institute and all UCLA faculty. From time to time, faculty of the Core also provides education in statistics and research methods to interested faculty, staff and students.

SIStat services are available to:

Junior faculty who do not have research funding.
Any faculty member preparing an application for extramural grant support.
Extramurally funded faculty who want ongoing, fee-based statistical support for their project(s).
Students at all levels enrolled in educational programs in the Semel Institute.


Senior Research Scientists
Catherine Sugar, Ph.D.


Catherine Sugar, Ph.D. is an associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and the Director of the Semel Institute Statistics Core (SIStat) in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University in 1998. Dr. Sugar's methodological expertise is in clustering, classification, and functional data analysis with an emphasis on finding patterns in high-dimensional or longitudinal data. She has also been involved in numerous applied projects in the mental health arena, particularly in schizophrenia and depression. This work has focused on identifying patterns of symptoms or functioning in patient populations and exploring how those patterns evolve over time in response to treatments or other stimuli.

Jim Mintz, Ph.D.
Emeritus director

Dr. Jim Mintz, Professor in UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry, has been a clinical research methodologist for over 35 years. He received a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1969 at NYU under the mentorship of Jacob (“Jack”) Cohen. During the next decade at University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychiatry he established an international reputation as a psychotherapy and substance abuse researcher. Dr. Mintz moved to UCLA in 1979, and for almost two decades headed the Methodology and Statistical Support Unit in the UCLA Center for the Study of Psychosis...

Affiliated Senior Research Scientists

Thomas R. Belin, Ph.D.


Thomas R. Belin, Ph.D., is a Professor jointly affiliated with the Department of Biostatistics and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. He has pursued research interests in handling missing data, particularly in mental health services settings, through two research awards funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Belin earned his doctorate in Statistics from Harvard in 1991.

Gang Li, Ph.D.
Dr. Gang Li is a Professor of Biostatistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received a Ph.D. in statistics from Florida State University in 1992. His research interests include survival analysis, longitudinal data analysis, nonparametric and semiparametric methods, ROC analysis, resampling methods, pharmaceutical statistics, and statistical methods and applications in clinical trials, biomedical imaging, cancer research, and ophthalmology.
Lynn Fairbanks, Ph.D.
Professor in Rsdn

Dr. Lynn Fairbanks is a Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Director of the Semel Institute Center for Primate Neuroethology. She received a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1974 and joined the research faculty of UCLA in 1975. For the past 30 years she has served as a statistical consultant for the adult division of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, resulting in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles with UCLA faculty, residents and trainees. Dr. Fairbanks’ expertise is in assisting trainees and young faculty with research design, statistical analysis, interpretation and presentation of results.
Damla Senturk Damla Senturk, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Email: dsenturk@ucla.edu
Damla Senturk, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in statistics from University of California Davis in 2004. Dr. Senturk's main methodological research areas are regression model building for repeated measures/ longitudinal data, functional data analysis and semiparametric covariate and error adjustments in regression and correlation models with applications to biomedical data. She works on modeling trends in data that are changing over time and explore dynamical regression relations between variables. Some of her applied work include modeling of molecular inflammation markers, infection status and cardiovascular events in the dialysis population, risk factors for hypertension, genomic markers of disease outcome and association of molecular measures in female carriers of the FMR1 (fragile X mental retardation 1) gene.

Research Fellows

Sun Sook Hwang, M.S.

Sun Hwang is a principal statistician and received her Master’s degree in Biostatistics in 1985 at UCLA and has been working with Dr. Mintz since then. She has 20 years of experience on statistical consulting and data management. She is supervising day to day management in SIStat. She has published about 20 papers in Mental Health research.

Gerhard Hellemann
Senior Statistician

Gerhard S. Hellemann received his Ph.D. in Psychometrics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. His main research interest is the evaluation of group differences in high dimensional, structured data. Within this context he is researching non-parametric and semi-parametric approaches to clustering and multi-group comparison in structural equation modeling. His main applied interest is the application of statistical methods to longitudinal data, specifically using latent growth curve and mixed model approaches.

Programming Group

Stone Shih
Programming Group Leader/Web Specialist

Stone Shih is an experienced web developer and designer. Stone gained his B.A. degree in Fine Arts and has 13 years of working experience in graphic design and 11 years in web design and application development. He particularly focuses on web-based Electronic Data Capture (EDC) solution for research studies. The primary aims of development are to develop real-time management reporting and analysis applications with an intuitive, workflow-based graphical user interface and to integrate the works of project management, data collection and analysis in one central station.

Hongchang Lin
Hongchang Lin, a seasoned software developer with over 20 years of industry experience specializing in web application design, development, and maintenance. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UCLA in 2000. Driven by a passion for leveraging his expertise, he is dedicated to assisting clients in achieving success with their unique requirements.

Susan Oh, M.P.H

Susan Oh received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Ewha Women University in 1992 and master’s degree in biostatistics from UCLA in 1995. With her strong data management experience, she devotes herself to developing systems and handling data.
Catherine Sun
Staff Research Associate
Catherine Sun has over 20 years of experience in many large web development projects. She is able to provide innovative solutions to maintain high creative standards throughout the project lifecycle: strategy, brief, concept, design, development, testing and documentation. Her knowledge of web design concept and creativity ensures the designs that stand up to heavy traffic and actively fulfill the purpose of the site.
Copyright © 2005 Semel Institute Biostatistics Core. All rights reserved.
Useful Links