Biostatistics researcher selected for Greek fellowship program

Release Date: September 22, 2017

Marianthi Markatou, professor and associate chair of research and health care informatics, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A prominent biostatistics researcher from the University at Buffalo is among a group of Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars from the U.S. and Canada who will travel to Greece to conduct academic projects with their peers at Greek universities.

Marianthi Markatou, professor and associate chair of research and health care informatics in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, was awarded a fellowship from the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to work with a researcher from the Department of Statistics at Athens University of Economics and Business on joint research challenges at the interface of statistics and machine learning.

Markatou’s selection was based on her fundamental scientific contributions as well as on a "very rarely demonstrated knowledge of the three employment sectors: academia, industry and government," according to the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program.

The project — titled “Big Data: Interface of Statistics and Machine Learning” — aims to open research collaborations with the graduate program in statistics and the program in information sciences at the Athens University of Economics and Business.

Discussions on developing and sustaining collaborations with UB’s programs in biostatistics and the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are part of the planned activities.

The project incorporates a research component in addressing some of the foundational issues in big data analysis, based on Markatou’s previous groundbreaking work on statistical distances, their relationship with kernels and robustness aspects. It will address challenges from a perspective that incorporates statistical and machine learning aspects simultaneously.

Markatou, PhD, will collaborate with Karlis Dimitrios, professor in the Department of Statistics, Athens University of Economics and Business.

Markatou is one of 30 Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars from a cross section of 28 prominent U.S. and Canadian universities who are traveling to Greece. They will work in areas that range from medical physics to curriculum co-development in clinical neurophysiology, and from Anglo-American modernist poetry to educational psychology.

Thirteen Greek universities were selected to host the fellows for collaborative projects that meet specific needs at their institutions and in their communities, based on proposals submitted by faculty members and administrators at the Greek universities.

With this second round of fellowships, the program has now selected a total of 51 U.S. and Canadian based academics to collaborate with universities throughout Greece to develop curricula, conduct research and teach and mentor graduate students in priority areas identified by the Greek universities.

The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to help avert Greece’s brain drain and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Greece and the United States and Canada. Launched in 2016, the fellowship program is managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, and funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

“I am honored to be selected for this fellowship, and I look forward to working with the Department of Statistics at the Athens University of Economics and Business. I hope the results of this collaboration will have major scientific implications, as well as major implications for the research component of the graduate program of Statistics in the Athens University of Economics and Business,” Markatou said.

“I look forward to facilitating collaboration between our programs at the University at Buffalo and the Athens University of Economics and Business.”

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