Michael R. Kosorok, PhD

W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor Department of Biostatistics
Professor Department of Statistics and Operations Research

T:(919) 966-8107


3101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall

CB #7420

Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Michael R. Kosorok, PhD, is W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of biostatistics, and professor of statistics and operations research at UNC-Chapel Hill.

His biostatistical expertise includes machine learning, precision medicine, clinical trials, dynamic treatment regimes, data science, big data, data mining, bioinformatics, empirical processes, semiparametric inference, Monte Carlo methods, and he has written a major text on the theoretical foundations of these and related areas in biostatistics (Kosorok, 2008) as well as co-edited (with Erica E. M. Moodie) a research monograph on dynamic treatment regimes and precision medicine.

He also has expertise in the application of biostatistics to biomedical research, including cancer and cystic fibrosis. In particular, he is the contact principal investigator on an NCI program project grant (P01 CA142538), which focuses on statistical methods for novel cancer clinical trials in precision medicine, including biomarker discovery and dynamic treatment regimes. He has pioneered machine learning and data mining tools for these and related areas.

Honors and Awards

Medallion Lecturer
2015, Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Best Paper in Biometrics Award
2012, International Biometrics Society

Honorary Fellow
2007, Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Honorary Fellow
2006, American Statistical Association

Honored Alumni, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
2004, Brigham Young University

Teaching Interests

Biostatistics 600: Principles of Statistical Inference

Biostatistics 760: Advanced Probability and Statistical Inference (I)

Biostatistics 791: Empirical Processes and Semiparametric Inference

Research Activities

Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Empirical processes, Statistical learning, Data mining, Semiparametric inference, Monte Carlo methods, Survival analysis, Clinical trials, Personalized medicine, Cancer, Cystic fibrosis

Service Activities

2015-present, Associate Editor, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B
2011-present, Associate Editor, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Theory and Methods
2004-present, Associate Editor, Annals of Statistics
2005-2014, Associate Editor, International Journal of Biostatistics
2007-2009, Associate Editor, Electronic Journal of Statistics
2007-2009, Associate Editor, Probability and Statistics Letters
2007-2009, Associate Editor, Statistics Surveys

1999-2006, U.S. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Data Safety Monitoring Board
2001-2006, U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Chair, Intramural Data Safety Monitoring Board

2011-present, BMRD Study Section, National Institutes of Health
2008-present, Member, Board of Trustees, National Institute of Statistical Sciences.
2009, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Program Co-Chair (with Xiaotong Shen), Joint Statistical Meeting, Washington, D.C., August 1-6, 2009.
2006, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Program Co-Chair (with Jason P. Fine), ENAR/IMS Joint Statistical Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 19-22.
2002, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Program Chair, WNAR/IMS Joint Statistical Meeting, Los Angeles, California, June 23-26.
1997-2002, U.S. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Clinical Research Committee

Staff/Administrative Duties

2006-present, reappointment through 2016, Chair of Department of Biostatistics

2008-present, Director of NC TraCS (CTSA) Biostatistics Core

Served on numerous student thesis committees for the Department of Biostatistics and for other departments

Key Publications

Reinforcement learning trees. R. Zhu, D. Zeng, M. R. Kosorok  (2015). Journal of the American Statistical Association, 110(512), 1770-1784.

Biclustering with heterogeneous variance. G. Chen, P. F. Sullivan, M. R. Kosorok  (2013). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(30), 12253-12258.

Estimating individualized treatment rules using outcome weighted learning. Y. Q. Zhao, D. Zeng, A. J. Rush, M. R. Kosorok  (2012). Journal of the American Statistical Association, 107(499), 1106-1118.

Reinforcement learning strategies for clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer. Y. F. Zhao, D. Zeng, M. A. Socinski, M. R. Kosorok  (2011). Biometrics, 67(4), 1422-1433.

Robust inference for univariate proportional hazards frailty regression models. M. R. Kosorok, B. L. Lee, and J. P. Fine (2004). Annals of Statistics, 32(4), 1448-1491.


MM, Music Composition, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999

PhD, Biostatistics, University of Washington, 1991

MS, Biostatistics, University of Washington, 1991

MS, Statistics, Brigham Young University, 1988

BM, Music Composition, Brigham Young University, 1988