The University of Minnesota has given biostatistics Professor Wei Pan its highest recognition of distinction in health-related research — membership in the Academy for Excellence in Health Research. The honor acknowledges his vital contributions to human health through his development of novel statistical methods that allow biomedical researchers to access the full potential of big data and ask questions and find answers related to the cause and treatment of diseases.
“I am honored, humbled and happily surprised by being chosen!” says Pan. “This is a recognition of the team work with my collaborators, especially my former and current students. I am grateful to many in the Division of Biostatistics, SPH, and the general statistics community for their support and contributions.”
Pan’s career has had two distinct phases. Initially, his research focused on developing statistical methods for survival analysis and the analysis of correlated data. For the last 15 years, his work has centered on statistical genetics and genomics, and statistical machine learning. For his research excellence, he was also elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2011 and Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2020. The latter illustrates the breadth of Pan’s work, which extends beyond the traditional scope of biostatistics to include foundational work in mathematical statistics.
Pan has developed new graduate coursework stemming from his research, and been an active mentor for biostatistics PhD students, advising or co-advising more than 20 PhD students on their dissertations, thus further advancing the field by training the next generation of biostatistics faculty.