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Published: 03 Jun, 2021

Developing accurate statistical methods

PROFILE Award-winning researcher Tetiana Gorbach develops methods to analyse longitudinal data.

Text: Elin Andersson

The 2021 Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics (USBE) Scientific Award in Statistics is awarded Tetiana Gorbach, associate professor in statistics at USBE. She completed her undergraduate studies in Ukraine before moving to Umeå. Here, she defended her PhD thesis in 2019. Despite her short career, Tetiana Gorbach has already published nine articles in peer-reviewed international journals, both in the statistical sciences and in the neurosciences. 

“My background is within the fields of probability theory and statistics. In Ukraine, I also worked with survey statistics and market research. During my time at Umeå University, I have been analysing ageing using data from the remarkable Betula study. The Betula project is a study on ageing, memory and dementia and has been carried out for over 25 years,” says Tetiana Gorbach.

“One of the challenges in ageing research is to understand the brain mechanisms that underlie cognitive development in older adults. Such ageing processes are investigated in longitudinal studies, where the within-individual changes over time are observed. However, several methodological issues exist in longitudinal analyses. One of them is loss of participants to follow up, which occurs when individuals drop out of the study. During my doctoral studies, I have developed statistical methods that help analyse such incomplete data.”

During my time at Umeå University, I have been analysing ageing using data from the remarkable Betula study. The Betula project is a study on ageing, memory and dementia and has been carried out for over 25 years.

Research in Umeå and London

Tetiana Gorbach has recently received SEK 2.4 million from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte) to be able to carry out the research project “Selection bias in ageing studies: novel statistical methods for analyses of incomplete datasets”. In the project, she will continue to work together with her colleagues in Umeå, and also collaborate with the well-renowned London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

“The project is a continuation of my work on the methodology for analyses of missing data. I will extend the existing methodology to more complex data structures and continue to study ageing. I plan to live in London for most of the project but will otherwise continue to live in Umeå. I really appreciate the flexibility, and the open and kind environment of the Swedish research community. The enormous support, respect, and guidance of my dear colleagues has made a huge impact on the success of my research. I am also lucky to be able to combine national and international collaborations.”

I really appreciate the flexibility, and the open and kind environment of the Swedish research community.

Research for health and happiness

The statistical methodology that Tetiana Gorbach will continue to develop in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine can be applied in various research fields.

“Even more fine-tuned statistical methods will help researchers to analyse data more accurately. The conclusions from such analyses might then be used in diagnostics and prevention of diseases and lead to new policy decisions, etc. Therefore, I hope that my research findings will help people live longer, healthier, and happier lives.”

 

Contact information

Tetiana Gorbach
Associate professor, postdoctoral position
E-mail
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