DBDS Leadership

Dr. Sylvia K. Plevritis, Chair

Dr. Plevritis is Professor and Chair in the Department of Biomedical Data Science and holds an appointment in the Department of Radiology in the Stanford School of Medicine. She earned her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (Stanford, 1992) with concentration on MRI spectroscopic imaging of tumors. She has also earned an M.S. in Health Services Research (Stanford, 1996), with concentration on the evaluation of cancer screening programs for reducing cancer mortality.  Dr. Plevritis serves as the Director of the Stanford Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) and Director of the Cancer Systems Biology Scholars (CSBS) Program.  She has served as the co-section chief of Integrative Biomedical Imaging Informatics at Stanford from 2008-2019.

Outside Stanford, she serves on the scientific advisory board of the National Cancer Institute and is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a distinguished investigator with the Academy of Radiology Research. Dr. Plevritis leads a systems biology cancer research program that bridges genomics, biocomputation, imaging and population sciences to discover basic properties of cancer progression and translate these findings toward improvements in early detection and treatment response.

Dr. Chiara Sabatti, Associate Chair of Education & Training

Chiara grew up in Brescia, Italy and obtained a master's degree in "Economics and Social Sciences" (DES) from the Bocconi University in Milan in 1993. She came to Stanford in 1994 to pursue a PhD in Statistics, and worked with Jun Liu on multiscale MCMC methods. Between 1998 and 2000, she was a post-doctoral scholar, working with Neil Risch in Stanford's Department of Genetics, and she was dazzled by the power of statistical methods in the booming field of genetics. In 2000, she joined the faculty at UCLA in the newly established departments of Human Genetics and Statistics. She returned to Stanford in 2009, with appointments in Health Research and Policy and in Statistics. 

Chiara was one of the founding members of the new Department of Biomedical Data Science, where she now serves as Associate Chair of Education and Training. Since 2010, Chiara has served as Faculty Director of the longstanding  Workshop in Biostatistics series, which provides a key educational opportunity for students and faculty alike. She is involved in the Stanford Data Science Initiative, and her work is partly supported by an NSF grant which encourages collaboration across many Data Science Hubs across the United States. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Undergraduate Major in Mathematical and Computational Science program, also known as Stanford's Data Science Major. For the last two years, she has served as a faculty mentor in the summer Data Science for Social Good fellowship program. She is happiest when working through a hard problem with students and she never turns down the opportunity for a philosophical chat.

Dr. Lu Tian, Associate Chair of Faculty Development

Dr. Lu Tian received his Sc.D. in Biostatistics from Harvard University in 2002. His graduate study was supported by a Howard Hughes fellowship. Before joining the Stanford community in 2007, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University. Dr. Tian is now a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Data Science (DBDS) and, by courtesy, in the Department of Statistics. He was one of the first faculty members in DBDS, which he joined in 2015; since then, he has actively participated in the DBDS Data Studio, the long-standing Workshop in Biostatistics series, activities in Stanford's Center for Innovative Study Design, and other educational events hosted by the Department. He was appointed in May 2020 to serve as the department's Associate Chair for Faculty Development. 

Dr. Tian is Director of the Data Management and Statistical Core in the Stanford Alzheimer Disease Research Center. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and is the co-editor of the book, Advanced Medical Statistics (2016). He also served on the board of the International Chinese Statistical Association, and as the Associate Editor of Statistics in Medicine, Biometrics, Chance, and Statistical Theory and Related Fields. Dr. Tian has considerable experience in statistical methodological research, planning large epidemiological studies, designing randomized clinical trials, and conducting applied data analysis. His methodological research interests include survival analysis, resampling method, precision medicine, meta-analysis, statistical learning, causal inference, and clinical trial (the list will grow longer as time goes by). He not only loves statistical methodology research, but also welcomes any interesting collaboration opportunities with clinicians and medical researchers. 

Karen Matthys, Executive Director of Biomedical Informatics Training Program

Karen joins DBDS from the Stanford School of Engineering, where she has been the Executive Director of External Partners at the Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME), a degree-granting institute focused on computational math, data science and AI. She developed an eco-system of ICME faculty, graduate students and external partners that collaborate regularly in areas such as research, curriculum, and talent development. Karen has been a lecturer and instructor at Stanford for classes such as Critical and Analytical Thinking, and AI for Good. She co-founded and serves as Co-Director of the Women in Data Science (WiDS) global initiative which now reaches over 100,000 participants each year.  

Karen has extensive experience in business strategy and marketing with high-tech companies from start-ups to Fortune 500’s. She worked for a number of years in management at Apple Computer, and at Cellular One, an ATT company.  Karen holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Systems Engineering with highest distinction from the University of Virginia.

Michael Negrette, Director of Finance and Administration (DFA)

With over 10 years of experience in Stanford School of Medicine, Michael brings a wealth of leadership and strategy experience to the role of Director of Finance and Administration. Most recently, Michael served as the Division Manager for Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine, where he had oversight of finance and administration. He also served as a member of the Division Manager Leadership Committee within Stanford's Department of Medicine, where he worked with other senior leaders on key operational initiatives as well as process improvement efforts. Michael holds an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Jose State University.

In partnership with the Chair, Michael will provide departmental leadership in finance and administration, working to achieve our mission in teaching and research while maintaining compliance with University, Government, and external sponsor rules and regulations.

DBDS on Diversity

We are committed to our historical and ongoing mission to use biomedical data science to improve human health. A cornerstone of this mission is diversity, reflected in embracing a breadth of complementary research interests, research styles, and a diverse and inclusive community. DBDS recognizes that we have significant work to do in shaping our future as we work towards achieving justice, equity, diversity and inclusion throughout our work and operations, our research and activities, and our professional relationships and partnerships.

Stanford's Land Acknowledgment Statement

Stanford sits on the ancestral land of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Ohlone people. Consistent with our values of community and inclusion, we have a responsibility to acknowledge, honor, and make visible the University’s relationship to Native peoples.

This acknowledgment has been developed in collaboration with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe.