Gurka   In recognition of his many achievements as Interim Chair, and with the strong endorsement of the faculty members in the department, Dr. Matthew J. Gurka has been appointed Founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University.

Dr. Gurka joined the WVU Department of Community Medicine in 2010, and has served as Interim Chair for the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health since July 2011.  Since 2010 he has also served as the Program Director for the Clinical Research Design, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics Program within the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  Over the past two years, under Matt’s capable leadership, the Department of Biostatistics has grown to include eight full-time faculty members, an extensive array of new biostatistics courses, an applied biostatistics certificate program, and a new PhD major in Biostatistics. 

Dr. Gurka received a PhD in biostatistics with an emphasis in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has experience in a wide range of applications of biostatistics to medical research, from the design and analysis of observational studies to the coordination and analysis of multicenter longitudinal studies. His research areas in statistics include longitudinal data analysis, mixed models and other multivariate modeling techniques, model selection, power analysis, and internal pilot studies.  In 2013 he was named the James E. Grizzle Distinguished Alumnus of the University of North Carolina Department of Biostatistics.