In memoriam: Dr. Janet Sinsheimer

Professor Janet Sinsheimer passed away on March 14, 2023 after a brief illness. Janet had a long and prominent career at UCLA and leaves a wealth of outstanding contributions to Biomathematics, Human Genetics, and the School of Medicine. 

Janet received her M.A. in Biochemistry in 1985 from Brandeis University.  She received a M.S. in Biomathematics from UCLA 1988 and a Ph.D. in 1994 on Bayesian Inference Applied to Phylogenetic Reconstruction.  In 1995, she was appointed in the Department of Biomathematics as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and joined the newly-formed Department of Human Genetics in 1999 as an Assistant Professor.  Janet received tenure in 2002, was promoted to the Professorial level in 2007, and advanced to step VI in 2020.  From 2013-2017, she served as Interim Chair of Biomathematics.  She also joined the faculty of the Department of Biostatistics.

Janet worked with clinicians, human geneticists and epidemiologists to help them design studies and analyze their data. Modern genetics relies on big data sets from diverse data sources.  In her own words, “Methodology for manipulating and for analyzing these data exists but can be far from optimal; knowing which methods to apply and how to interpret the results can be quite difficult. I use my expertise in statistical genetics and genomics to provide appropriate study designs, data analyses, and when warranted, improved methodology.”

During her career, she published over 160 peer-reviewed publications in leading biological and statistical journals, as well as over 90 abstracts.  However, her passion remained in teaching.  She served as doctoral advisor for 13 students, including current UCLA faculty Marc Suchard, Jin Zhou, and Mary Sehl.

Janet will be greatly missed by her grateful colleagues at UCLA.

Read her David Geffen School of Medicine obituary.