Francisco J. Diaz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics

B.S., Mathematics, National University of Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
M.S., Statistics, National University of Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Ph.D., Statistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

1996, Meritorious M.S. Thesis Award, given by the School of Sciences of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia
1999, Graduate School Fellowship, Awarded by the Graduate School of the University of Kentucky
2000, Graduate School Fellowship, Awarded by the Graduate School of the University of Kentucky
2000-2001, Raymond W. Rishel Prize for Best Student in Applied Probability, Awarded by the Department of Statistics of the University of Kentucky

Research Focus

Bayesian feedback in drug dosage individualization, Statistical methods in pharmacological and medical research, Clinical epidemiology, Psychometric methods, Mixed models and Longitudinal data analysis.

Personal Mission Statement

I am an experienced biostatistician who has participated in a substantial number of collaborative research projects concerning medical and pharmacological issues. In particular, I have conducted the statistical analyses of studies investigating different aspects of the metabolic syndrome in psychiatric patients, including studies of the effects of antipsychotics on lipid levels. In one of these studies, I used sophisticated statistical methodology that allowed detecting the potential role of the acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase α gene as a mediator in the association between some atypical antipsychotics and hyperlipidemia. In a subsequent study, this role was verified using additional genetic testing performed by an independent laboratory.  A substantial part of my collaborative research career has been dedicated to the study of addictions, including legal and illegal substance abuse, and their relationship with the occurrence and symptoms of psychiatric illnesses. In particular, I have conducted the statistical analyses of more than 20 studies investigating different aspects of smoking behavior and nicotine addiction in mentally ill patients and/or the general population, including the psychometric problems involved in measuring nicotine addiction. I have also collaborated in the investigation of the pharmacokinetics of psychiatric drugs and antipsychotic side effects other than those related with the metabolic syndrome; and also in studies of autoimmune diseases. Currently, I am also involved in cancer research, and in the development of statistical methodology for high throughput screening. Also, I have many years of experience teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics and biostatistics programs. I have been also developing applications of random effects linear models to drug dose individualization and personalized medicine. I believe that random effects linear models will revolutionize the mathematical theory and practical applications of pharmacology and personalized medicine.


Top 15 Publications


1. Diaz, F. J. (1999). "Identifying Tail Behavior by Means of Residual Quantile Functions", Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, Vol. 8, Number 3, 493-509. A SAS program to compute Bundles.

2. Diaz, F. J., Baca-Garcia, E.,    Diaz-Sastre, C.,   García Resa, E.,  Blasco, H.,  Braquehais Conesa, D.,   Saiz-Ruiz, J.,  de Leon, J. (2003)  "Dimensions of suicidal behavior according to patient reports." European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 253, 197-202.

3. de Leon, J., Diaz, F. J.  (2005) "A meta-analysis of worldwide studies demonstrates an association between schizophrenia and tobacco smoking behaviors". Schizophrenia Research, Vol. 76, 135-157. 

4. Diaz, F. J.,   Jané, M.,    Saltó,  E.,  Pardell, H.,  Salleras, Ll., Pinet, C., de Leon, J. (2005) "A Brief Measure of High Nicotine Dependence for Busy Clinicians and Large Epidemiological Surveys." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39, 161-168

5. Diaz, F.J., Rivera, T.E., Josiassen, R.C.,  de Leon, J. (2007). "Individualizing drug dosage by using a random intercept linear model." Statistics in Medicine, 26,  2052-2073.

6. Diaz, F.J., Santoro, V.,  Spina, E.,  Cogollo, M.,  Rivera, T.E.,  Botts, S., de Leon, J. (2008) "Estimating the size of the effects of co-medications on plasma clozapine concentrations using a model that controls for clozapine doses and confounding variables.Pharmacopsychiatry, 41; 81-91.

7. Diaz, F.J., James, D., Botts, S., Maw, L., Susce, M.T., de Leon, J. (2009). "Tobacco Smoking Behaviors in Bipolar Disorder: A Comparison of the General Population, Schizophrenia and Major Depression." Bipolar Disorders, 11; pp. 154-165.

8. Diaz, F.J., Meary, A.,  Arranz, M.J.,  Ruaño, G.,  Windemuth, A., de Leon, J. (2009). "Acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase α gene variations may be associated with the direct effects of some antipsychotics on triglyceride levels."   Schizophrenia Research, 115; 136-140.

9. Diaz, F.J., Perez-Iglesias, R., Mata, I., Martinez-Garcia, O., Vazquez-Barquero, J.L., de Leon, J., Crespo-Facorro, B. (2010) "Possible effects of some antipsychotic drugs on C-reactive protein in a drug-naïve psychotic sample." Schizophrenia Research, Vol. 121; pp. 207-212.

10. Diaz, F.J., Perez-Iglesias, R. Mata, I. Martínez-Garcia, O. Vázquez-Barquero, J.L., de Leon, J., Crespo-Facorro, B. (2011) "Using structural equations to test for a direct effect of some antipsychotics on triglyceride levels in drug-naïve first-episode psychosis patients". Schizophrenia Research, 131; pp. 82-89.

11. Diaz, F.J., Rojas-Villarraga, A., Salazar, J.C., Iglesias-Gamarra, A., Mantilla, R.D.,   Anaya, J-M. (2011) "Anti-CCP antibodies are associated with early age at onset in patients with rheumatoid arthritis." Joint Bone Spine, Vol. 78; pp. 175-178.

12. Diaz, F.J., Cogollo, M., Spina, E., Santoro, V., Rendon, D.M., de Leon, J. (2012) "Drug Dosage Individualization Based on a Random-Effects Linear Model." Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics, Vol. 22; pp 463-484.

13. de Leon, J., Diaz, F.J. (2012) "Genetics of schizophrenia and smoking: An approach to studying their comorbidity based on epidemiological findings". Human Genetics, Vol. 131:877-901.

14. Diaz, F.J., Yeh, H-W., de Leon, J. (2012) "Role of statistical random-effects linear models in personalized medicine." Current Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine, Vol. 10; pp 22-32.

15. Diaz, F.J.,  McDonald, P.R.,   Roy, A., Taylor, B., Price, A., Hall, J.,  Blagg, B.S.J., Chaguturu, R. "Compound ranking based on a new mathematical measure of effectiveness using time course data from cell-based assays". Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, Vol. 16:168-179.

Last modified: Mar 12, 2013


Francisco J. Diaz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics

P: (913) 945-7006
F: (913) 588-0252