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Statistics Professor Michele Guindani was recently named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). “This is a tremendous honor that recognizes Michele’s many contributions to statistical methodology, collaboration, teaching and service to our profession,” says Daniel L. Gillen, professor and chair of the Department of Statistics.

Guindani, an expert in Bayesian modeling and the analysis of high-dimensional data, is currently studying how interactions among brain regions change dynamically over time — as individuals complete different tasks, for example. He is also involved in UCI’s Microbiome Initiative, which aims to explore the complex interrelationships between the body’s microbiome, health and disease. “There are many opportunities for fascinating research directions related to the analysis of the human microbiome,” he says. “For example, there has been quite some interest recently in studying the interaction between the human gut microbiome, the immune system and the brain in the development of stress and brain disorders.” He plans to combine information from several data sources using statistical techniques to gain a better understanding of complex systems.

Guindani is also helping to organize the upcoming ASA Statistical Methods in Imaging conference (SMI 2019), taking place June 2-4, 2019 here at UCI. He notes that the event is “bringing together campus resources for imaging analysis and further increasing cross-talk between data scientists and medical imaging scientists.” The event will feature investigators at the forefront of research in statistical imaging — a wide-ranging field that includes the analysis of brain imaging data acquired through fMRI, EEG or PET scans as well as the analysis of radiological images used in medical diagnosis.

“The conference aims to showcase UCI’s excellence in imaging research,” says Guindani. It is sponsored by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) and the Department of Statistics, with additional support from the UCI Brain InitiativeUCI Center for Neurobiology of Learning & Memory and two small grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The ASA has supported excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science since 1839 through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation and advocacy. It is now the world’s largest community of statisticians, and it has recognized the outstanding contributions of its members with the ASA Fellow designation for nearly 100 years. Guindani joins current UCI Statistics faculty members Daniel Gillen, Hal Stern and Bin Nan, and emeriti faculty Jessica Utts and Wesley Johnson in obtaining this prestigious recognition from the ASA.

— Shani Murray