Francesca Dominici

Francesca Dominici

Professor of Biostatistics
Senior Associate Dean for Research

Department of Biostatistics
Office of the Dean

Building II, Room 441
655 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617.432.4908

Academic Career

Dr. Dominici received her PhD in Statistics from the University of Padua, Italy, in 1997. During her PhD, she spent two years as a visiting PhD student at Duke University, NC, USA. In 1997 she went to the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1999 she was appointed Assistant Professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and in 2007 she was promoted to Full Professor with Tenure. In 2009 she moved to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a tenured Professor of Biostatistics and was appointed Associate Dean of Information Technology in 2011. In Fall 2013, she was appointed Senior Associate Dean for Research.



Dr. Dominici’s research has focused on the development of statistical methods for the analysis of large observational data with the ultimate goal of addressing important questions in environmental health science, health related impacts of climate change, and comparative effectiveness research. She is an expert in Bayesian methods, longitudinal data analysis, confounding adjustment, causal inference, and Bayesian hierarchical models. She has extensive experience on the development of statistical methods and their applications to environmental epidemiology, implementation science and health policy, outcome research and patient safety, and comparative effectiveness research.


Dr. Dominici has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. She is the PI, together with Dr. Xihong Lin, of a NCI P01 project entitled “Statistical Informatics for Cancer Research” ( She is the PI of a Project called “A Causal Inference Framework to Support Policy Decisions by Evaluating the Effectiveness of Past Air Pollution Control Strategies for the Entire United States”
as part of the Harvard EPA center entitled “Regional Air Pollution Mixtures: The Past and Future Impacts of Emission Controls and Climate Change on Air Quality and Health”. She is also the PI of several EPA/NIH/HEI funded projects aimed at developing statistical methods and conducting nation-wide epidemiological studies on the health effects of air pollution (“Residential exposure to aircraft noise and hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases: multi-airport retrospective study”, and “Particulate Matter Matters”). Most recently, she has become more involved in comparative effectiveness research collaborating with investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. With her colleagues she is developing statistical methods for causal inference and propensity score matching to compare health care delivery systems in end of life cancer, with a special focus on glioblastoma and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Dominici also oversees the management and the analysis of several administrative databases, including Part A CMS files and SEER-Medicare, which are linked to air pollution and weather and socioeconomic data.

Teaching and Mentoring

Dr. Dominici is teaching the course BIO 249 entitled “Bayesian Methodology in Biostatistics” at Harvard Chan School. Previously she taught Analysis of Longitudinal Data, and Multilevel Statistical Models while a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University. She has been the primary advisory of 9 PhD students and 13 post-doctoral fellows. She is a passionate mentor of junior faculty.



Dr. Dominici is committed to diversity. Together with Dr. Linda P. Fried (now Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University), she has co-chaired the University Committee of the Status of Women at Johns Hopkins University. From this experience she wrote a paper entitled “So Few Women Leaders” Academe, July-August 2009 ( In 2009, she was awarded the Diversity Recognition Award by the President of Johns Hopkins University. Recently, she has been giving lectures and moderated panel discussions on work-family balance across Harvard (see Currently she is the chair (with Dr. Burleigh) of the University Committee for the Advancement of Women Faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.



In her role as Associate Dean of Information Technology, Dr. Dominici has led new initiatives at the School regarding research computing. More specifically, she led a MOU between our school and research computing (RC) facility at the Faculty of Arts and Science (FASRC) enabling Harvard Chan faculty to access the FAS computing facilities. School faculty are treated equally to FAS faculty in terms of priority of access, ticket turn-around, and access to shared facilities and shared licenses. See for details.
In her role as Senior Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Dominici leads the Office of Research Strategy and Development ( The strategic mission of the office is to provide catalytic and strategic support for the school’s research efforts by:

  • providing faculty with resources to develop their research programs and maintain the highest research standards
  • assisting junior faculty in identifying and competing successfully for extramural funding
  • supporting inter-departmental research collaborations
  • developing systems and administering policies aimed at improving efficiencies in research, research management, and compliance

Among the many leadership roles that Dr. Dominici plays as Senior Associate Dean for Research of the Office, Dr. Dominici co-instructs ORSD’s flagship faculty grant-writing short course in collaboration with Donald Halstead, the School’s Director of Writing Program. Through the short course, Dr. Dominici works intensively with individual junior faculty members to develop, target, and polish highly competitive research proposals. The short course has proven to be one of the most critical supports School faculty access to grow and diversify their sponsored research portfolios.



Dr. Dominici has served on a number of National Academies’ committees, including the Committee on Research Direction in Human Biological Effects of Low Level Ionizing Radiation; the Committee on Gulf War and Health: Review of the Medical Literature Relative to Gulf War Veterans’ Health; the Committee to Review the Federal Response to the Health Effects Associated with the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill; the Committee on Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Acute Coronary Events; the Committee to Review ATSDR’s Great Lakes Report; the Committee on Making Best Use of the Agent Orange Exposure Reconstruction Model; the Committee on Gulf War and Health; the Committee to Assess Potential Health Effects from Exposures to PAVE PAWS Low-Level Phased-array Radiofrequency Energy; and the Committee on the Utility of Proximity-Based Herbicide Exposure Assessment in Epidemiologic Studies of Vietnam Veterans.


She is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Statistical Association, the International Biometric Society, and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. She is the Senior Editor of Chapman & Hall/CRC Texts in Statistical Science Series and Associate Editor of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.



Dr. Dominici has received numerous recognitions, including Mathematics for Planet Earth Award Lecture, hosted by the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) 2013; Diversity Recognition Award, Johns Hopkins University, 2009; Myrto Lefkopoulou Distinguished Lectureship Award, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, 2007; Gertrude Cox Award, Washington DC Chapter of the American Statistical Association and RTI International, 2007; Mortimer Spiegelman Award, Statistics Section of the American Public Health Association, 2006; Dean’s Lecture, Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2007; and an Invitation to Address the Royal Statistical Society, London, UK, 2002.