February 5, 2024

Yangjianchen Xu and Justin DeMonte, biostatistics doctoral students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, were among only 20 selected recipients for the Distinguished Student Paper Award. The award is presented by the Eastern North America Region (ENAR) of the International Biometric Society.

Justin DeMonte and Yangjianchen Xu.

Justin DeMonte (left) and Yangjianchen Xu (right).

Xu and DeMonte will be recognized at the ENAR 2024 Spring Meeting Presidential Invited Address. Theyw ill both give oral presentations on their papers during the ENAR 2024 Spring Meeting.  

“Congratulations to Yangjianchen and Justin for this well-deserved recognition,” says Michael Hudgens, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the Gillings School. “Competition for the ENAR Distinguished Student Paper Award is always very high and being selected reflects a significant accomplishment.” 

Xu, advised by Danyu Lin, PhD, Dennis Gillings Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, was selected for his paper titled “Proportional Rates Models for Multivariate Panel Count Data.” He helped to propose a model that relates risk factors to recurrent events to analyze data to estimate the effects of risk factors on recurrent events under the constraints that the exact time a disease occurs is never observed. 

“I am very honored and excited to receive this prestigious award,” says Xu. “This recognition not only validates the hard work and dedication invested in my research but also inspires me to continue contributing to the field of biostatistics. It’s a reminder that perseverance and passion in research can lead to impactful and rewarding outcomes. I am also very grateful to my advisors for their support and encouragement during the preparation of this paper.” 

 DeMonte, co-advised by Hudgens and Bonnie Shook-Sa, DrPH, assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics, was selected for his paper titled “Assessing COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in observational studies via nested trial emulation.” The paper illustrates how nested trial emulation can be applied to estimate vaccine effectiveness that may vary over time since vaccination and calendar time. 

“I look forward to this opportunity to share part of my thesis work with the larger statistical community at the ENAR 2024 spring meeting,” says DeMonte. “I am grateful to my advisors for their generous direction, support, and guidance.” 

The 2024 ENAR meeting will take place at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, March 10-13. 

Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

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