Welcome to New Faculty Members

Published: August 1st, 2017

Category: Faculty, Featured News, News

The Department of Biostatistics is pleased to announce the arrival of four new faculty members; Drs. Natalie Dean, Steven Foti, Zhiguang Huo and Robert Parker.

Dr. Natalie Dean

As of July 14, 2017, Dr. Natalie E. Dean has started a new position in the department as tenure-track Assistant Professor.

Dr. Dean received her PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University in May 2014. She received her AM in Biostatistics from Harvard University and her BA in Biology and Mathematics/Statistics from Boston University. She worked as an external statistical consultant for the World Health Organization’s HIV department. Since January 2015, she conducted research as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Biostatistics at UF with Professor Ira Longini. In this position, she assisted in the design and analysis of a Phase III Ebola vaccine trial in Guinea, along with other projects on analyzing and modeling Ebola and Zika outbreaks, planning dengue serosurveys, and designing vaccine trial strategies for emerging pathogens.

Areas of research for Dr. Dean include infectious disease surveillance, survey design, clinical trials, and vaccines. In her free time, Dr. Dean enjoys cooking, Zumba, and spending time with her husband, Ethan.

Dr. Steven Foti

Dr. Steven Foti joined the department on July 1, 2017 as a Clinical Assistant Professor. He received his PhD in Statistics Education from the University of Florida in early August 2017. He previously received his MS in Statistics from the University of Florida and his BS in Applied Mathematics & Statistics and Physics from Clarkson University. He has spent the past four years as a graduate school fellow in the School of Teaching and Learning at UF.  During this time he was an instructor of mathematics content and teaching methods in the Unified Elementary ProTeach program and of AP Statistics at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School. He has been in teaching roles for the past eight years.

As a researcher, Dr. Foti is involved in the NSF-funded Levels of Conceptual Understanding of Statistics (LOCUS) project, which led to the development of statistics assessments that he continues to utilize in his research on how students understand variability. Areas of interest for Dr. Foti include statistical literacy, research and evaluation methodology, and assessments. In his free time, Dr. Foti enjoys cycling in local charity rides, collecting mechanical watches, and exploring everything Gainesville has to offer.

Dr. Zhiguang “Caleb” Huo

On July 14, 2017, Dr. Ziguang Huo joined the department as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Huo received his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests lie in both statistical methodology and its applications to genomics and bioinformatics. For methodological research, he is particularly interested in genomic data integration, variable selection in high-dimensional data, Bayesian methods, optimization and statistical computing. For collaborative research, he has worked extensively on bioinformatics and high-throughput data in the field of cancer and psychiatry diseases. He has a broad interest in a wide range of data and currently actively seeking for collaborations with other people to better understand/analyze their hypothesis/data. He is teaching a course on Biostatistical Computing. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cycling and swimming.

Dr. Robert Parker

Dr. Robert L. Parker joined the department on June 2, 2017 in the capacity of Clinical Assistant Professor.

Dr. Parker received his PhD in Statistics from the University of Florida in May 2017. He received his MS in Mathematics from Mississippi State University and his BS in Mathematics from Millsaps College. He has spent the past five years as a graduate teaching assistant in the Statistics Department at UF, where he was the instructor for several introductory statistics courses and as an adjunct instructor with Santa Fe College, Department of Mathematics. He has been in a teaching capacity for the past seven years.

Areas of research for Dr. Parker include probability theory, stochastic processes, laws of large numbers for Banach space valued random elements, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), and Bayesian methods. In his free time, Dr. Parker enjoys reading, playing tennis, and spending time outdoors with his two dogs, Abby and Zoe.