Dr. Sudesh Srivastav to lead Biostatistics and Data Science as Dr. John Lefante retires

Dr. Sudesh Srivastav, a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, will become interim chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science effective July 1.  He will replace the retiring Dr. John Lefante, who has served as chair for a combined 13 years over two separate installations. 

“While we will miss John’s calm and steady leadership,” said Dean Thomas LaVeist in the announcement, “we are fortunate to have another faculty member who has worked alongside John for many years, Dr. Sudesh Srivastav, who will become the interim chair of the department as a national search is ongoing.” 

Lefante first came to Tulane in 1987 as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Medicine. He joined the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in the tenure track in 1992, when Biostatistics and Epidemiology made up one single department. Over the next 36 years, he held faculty positions in biostatistics, medicine, and health systems management and as associate dean for information technology. 

Over his long tenure, Dr. Lefante distinguished himself as both a researcher and an instructor. His research background included data analyses and maintenance on studies involving occupational health, health care access and evaluation, and clinical and translational sciences. He served as the biostatistics and epidemiology core facilitator for the LA CaTS Center, an NIH-funded grant under the Institutional Development Award Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research, originally funded in 2012. Lefante also received teaching excellence awards, voted on by students, seven different times. 

Srivastav joined Tulane in 1999 from the University of California, San Francisco, where he was extensively involved in statistical analysis and problems integrating clinical findings, laboratory results, quantitative imaging data, and management of large cohort epidemiological studies on osteoporosis. He has a broad background and experience in biostatistics and quantitative bioinformatics with a particular expertise in statistical design of experiments and its application in clinical trials, re-sampling methods, and analysis of big data. 

He is actively involved in collaborative research with faculty members from within the department as well as from other health sciences departments at Tulane University, particularly the Tulane Cancer Center and the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. A former Fulbright Senior Scholar to India, Srivastav received the Excellence in Intercampus Collaborative Research award at Tulane.