In Memoriam

Dr. Janet Sinsheimer

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.

Dr. Robert Elashoff

Dr. Robert Elashoff

Dr. Robert Elashoff, a Distinguished Professor and a highly valued faculty member at UCLA for over 40 years, has died after a brief illness at age 90. He received his PhD at Harvard from the Department of Statistics in 1963 and had appointments at UC Berkeley and UCSF before coming to UCLA in 1975 and joining the Departments of Biomathematics and Biostatistics.

Prof. Elashoff served as the head of the Biostatistics group in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center from 1975 to 2008 and was the founding leader for the UCLA CTSI Biostatistics Program.  He also served as the Chair of the Department of Biomathematics from 1992 to 1998 and the Chair of Department of Biostatistics from 1994 to 1996. He was Director of the Biostatistical Core of the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) from 1991-2011. He transitioned to emeritus status in 2019. 

While at UCLA, Prof. Elashoff served as a biostatistical collaborator on numerous impactful research projects and clinical trials spanning the scope of academic medicine, and was an author of over 300 publications. Of particular note, his research areas included sentinel node biopsies in melanoma, cyclophosphamide for scleroderma lung disease, and hypertension intervention for black males through barbershops.  As Director of the GCRC Biostatical Core, he had the vision to develop of a core facility devoted to training, education and career development for fellows and junior faculty for the Medical School. In 2016, he coauthored a book on Joint Modeling of Longitudinal and Time-to-Event Data.

He particularly loved teaching and mentoring. He was most proud of having developed the UCLA Masters of Clinical Research program in 2001. This program has provided training in research methodology to over 130 clinical scientists at UCLA since its inception. He was beloved by his students and they will remember his thoughtful insights into every different scientific challenge and his creative mind to resolve these challenges.  Many of those he mentored occupy prestigious academic and other professional positions around the USA and the world.  

Prof. Elashoff is survived by his sons Michael and David, his daughters-in-law Veena and Barbara, and his five loving grandchildren.

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