Faculty Spotlight

Lili Tian

Lili Tian, PhD

Lili Tian is the associate chair, director of graduate studies and a professor for the Department of Biostatistics at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

How did you get interested in the field of biostatistics?

The field of biostatistics allows me to apply my quantitative training and logical thinking skills to pursue new research ideas, which have practical significance in a variety of applied fields. In addition, I never thought about having a non-academic career since I enjoy teaching very much. Being a professor allows me to pursue teaching and research which are both passions of mine.  So for me, it was a natural fit and easy decision to pursue a career path in biostatistics.

What is the focus of your research?

My current research focuses on developing new diagnostic measures and new evaluation methods for measuring biomarkers’ performance. These methods have wide applicability in medical fields for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer, as well as in the field of genomic studies.

Why UB?

The Department of Biostatistics here at UB is a great place for faculty to pursue their research interests. In addition, the department has well-established graduate programs in biostatistics and there is an overall great environment here.

What is your greatest accomplishment while at UB?

I have been serving as graduate director for 10 years. Not only has the size of our graduate program increased substantially during that time frame, but we've also added several new programs.  I have had opportunities to work with many brilliant biostatistics graduate students on a variety of research projects in the field of statistics and it gives me a tremendous amount of pride to see so many of our alumni go on to flourish professionally in academia, government and industry.

In addition, I am proud of my accomplishments in terms of my extensive publications in the area of diagnostic studies. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing opportunities I've had to collaborate with many excellent UB researchers in a variety of research areas.