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Dr. Shelley B. Bull

Research Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Joseph & Wolf Lebovic Health Complex
600 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 1X5

Tel.: 416-586-4800 ext.8245

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Dr. Shelley B. Bull


Dr. Shelley Bull, Senior Investigator, is one of only a dozen research biostatisticians in Canada working at the interface of human genetics and statistics. Discovering true relationships in the face of uncertainty is one of the major tasks of statistical science.  Developing and using statistics to help solve some of the genetic puzzles linked to breast cancer and type 1 diabetes, Dr. Bull looks at both the causes and outcomes of diseases that strike many Canadians.

With the foundation of data produced by the International Human HapMap project and access to new molecular technologies, it is now possible to survey the entire genome for common variation associated with disease in large numbers of individuals. Having as many as a million measurements on each person means that studies can be comprehensive and can generate many new ideas about the underlying biology, but some of the associations detected will turn out to be 'false lead'. To develop more sensitive and reliable methods for finding true positive associations, Dr. Bull uses statistical theory and computational experiments that require powerful computers. With better methods, precious research resources for followup studies can be directed to the 'best bets'. 

Guided by state-of-the-art statistical methods, Dr. Bull examines data for clinical and population health insights. She is interested in determining the factors that distinguish who gets what disease — and who doesn't. She also focuses on discovering genetic factors that lead to increased susceptibility to disease recurrence.

In 2000, Dr. Bull was awarded The Anthony Miller Award For Excellence In Research In Public Health given to recognize the outstanding contributions to research of faculty in the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.  In 2002, she received the Senior Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She currently leads a national team of investigators in statistical genetic modeling and analysis that is supported by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program in the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems.

At a Glance

Dr. Shelley Bull is a biostatistician who studies the factors that distinguish who develops and survives a given disease — and who doesn't

She uses statistical theory and computational experiments to improve the reliability of genetic epidemiologic studies

Dr. Bull is renowned for her work on developing new statistical approaches to understanding complex datasets

Major Research Activities

Dr. Bull's research focuses on the development and application of new statistical methodologies to study disease etiology and prognosis:

Design and analysis of genome-wide studies of complex diseases and traits

Regression models for genetic and genomic data and extensions for correlated data