Goundappa K. Balasubramani

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology

Education & Training

  • Presidency College, Chennai BS 04/1984 Statistics
  • University of Madras, Chennai MS 06/1986 Statistics
  • University of Madras, Chennai MPHIL 06/1987 Statistics
  • University of Madras, Chennai PHD 02/1992 Statistics

A. Personal Statement

I am an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at The University of Pittsburgh. I hold a secondary appointment as Assistant Professor of Family Medicine within The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. During the last five years, I collaborated with Dr. Zhou Wang for the George M. O'Brien Cooperative Research Centers Program grant and served as a Co-Investigator. We successfully carried out basic research and published four peer-reviewed publications. My primary research interest over the same period, I developed a keen interest in primary open-angle glaucoma research, collaborated with Dr. Tony Realini on West Indies Glaucoma Laser Study (WIGLS) in Afro-Caribbeans. I served as a Co-investigator and managed the Statistical core for the WIGLS study. Specific roles of my team have included data management, and successful verification data auditing, data quality checks. I have personally participated in all aspects of the development of study designs and data analysis. Working closely with superb Epidemiologists and Statistician is consistent with my history of frequent and enjoyable collaborations with family Medicine colleagues. At the Epidemiology Data Center (EDC), I have actively contributed to several multi-center clinical trials as an investigator and as a statistician. I am currently Principal Investigator for NEI-sponsored COAST Glaucoma trail and Co-investigator for three Influenza vaccine effectiveness trials funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I will serve as co-investigator for the Statistics and Clinical Data Core will be responsible for overseeing all the activities of the data management and analysis for this proposal.

1. Wang K, Pascal LE, Li F, Chen W, Dhir R, Balasubramani GK, DeFranco DB, Yoshimura N, He D, Wang Z. Tight junction protein claudin-1 is downregulated by TGF-β1 via MEK signaling in benign prostatic epithelial cells. Prostate. 2020 Jul 21;PubMed PMID: 32692865.

2. Song Q, Qin S, Pascal LE, Zou C, Wang W, Tong H, Zhang J, Catalona WJ, Dhir R, Morrell M, Balasubramani GK, Lu Y, Wang Z. SIRPB1 promotes prostate cancer cell proliferation via Akt activation. Prostate. 2020 Mar;80(4):352-364. PubMed PMID: 31905248; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7421598.

3. Li F, Pascal LE, Wang K, Zhou Y, Balasubramani GK, O'Malley KJ, Dhir R, He K, Stolz D, DeFranco DB, Yoshimura N, Nelson JB, Chong T, Guo P, He D, Wang Z. Transforming growth factor beta 1 impairs benign prostatic luminal epithelial cell monolayer barrier function. Am J Clin Exp Urol. 2020;8(1):9-17. PubMed PMID: 32211449; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7076294.

4. Li F, Pascal LE, Stolz DB, Wang K, Zhou Y, Chen W, Xu Y, Chen Y, Dhir R, Parwani AV, Nelson JB, DeFranco DB, Yoshimura N, Balasubramani GK, Gingrich JR, Maranchie JK, Jacobs BL, Davies BJ, Hrebinko RL, Bigley JD, McBride D, Guo P, He D, Wang Z. E-cadherin is downregulated in benign prostatic hyperplasia and required for tight junction formation and permeability barrier in the prostatic epithelial cell monolayer. Prostate. 2019 Aug;79(11):1226-1237. PubMed PMID: 31212363; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6599563.

B. Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

1993 - 1995      Lecturer in Statistics, MS University, Tirunelveli

1995 - 1996      Assistant Professor, University of Western Ontario, London

1996 - 1998      Senior Lecturer, MS University, Tirunelveli

1998 - 2000      Research Officer, State council for Higher Education, Chennai

2000 - 2004      Statistician, Epidemiology Data Center , University of Pittsburgh,
                         Pittsburgh, PA

2004 - 2014      Research Associate, Department of Epidemiology, University of  Pittsburgh,
                         Pittsburgh, PA

2014 - 2020      Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh,
                         Pittsburgh, PA

2020 - present Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh,
                        Pittsburgh, PA

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

-                            Reviewer, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses

1990 -                   Life Member, Indian Society for Probability and Statistics

2006 -                   Reviewer, Computer Methods and Programs in Bio medicine Journal

2015 -                   Reviewer, Expert Review in Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research

2017 -                   Member, Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA)

2017 -                   Reviewer, Journal of Clinical Oncology

2018 -                   Member, Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

2019 -                   Member, International Society for Infectious Diseases

2019 -                   Board Member, International Society for Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus


1993                     Young Statistician Award, International Statistical Institute,
                             The Netherlands

1994                     Young Scientist Fellowship Award, Tamil Nadu State Council for
                             Science and Technology


C. Contribution to Science

1. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) Network: The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of the seasonal influenza vaccine using a test-negative case-control trial. Our contribution through the study was that using multiplex RT-PCR three-fifths of medically attended outpatient visits for acute respiratory illness during the influenza season was associated with a viral etiology. These publications document that viruses differed in distribution across age groups, self-reported health status, BMI, presence of fever, and nasal congestion. I have been associated with this multi-center U.S. Influenza VE Network from 2011 and contributed to the data analysis, data interpretation, and writing of the statistical portion for the manuscripts.

a. Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Bear T, Taber R, Clarke KS, Sax TM, Eng H, Clarke LG, Balasubramani GK. Proposed clinical indicators for efficient screening and testing for COVID-19 infection using Classification and Regression Trees (CART) analysis. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2020 Oct 20;PubMed PMID: 33079625.

b. Balasubramani GK, Choi WS, Nowalk MP, Zimmerman RK, Monto AS, Martin ET, Belongia EA, McLean HQ, Gaglani M, Murthy K, Jackson ML, Jackson LA, Chung JR, Spencer S, Fry AM, Patel M, Flannery B. Relative effectiveness of high dose versus standard dose influenza vaccines in older adult outpatients over four seasons, 2015-16 to 2018-19. Vaccine. 2020 Sep 29;38(42):6562-6569. PubMed PMID: 32800465; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7508973.

c. Balasubramani GK, Saul S, Nowalk MP, Middleton DB, Ferdinands JM, Zimmerman RK. Does influenza vaccination status change physician ordering patterns for respiratory viral panels? Inspection for selection bias. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2019;15(1):91-96. PubMed PMID: 30130438; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6586174.

d. Zimmerman RK, Balasubramani GK, Nowalk MP, Eng H, Urbanski L, Jackson ML, Jackson LA, McLean HQ, Belongia EA, Monto AS, Malosh RE, Gaglani M, Clipper L, Flannery B, Wisniewski SR. Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis to predict influenza in primary care patients. BMC Infect Dis. 2016 Sep 22;16(1):503. PubMed PMID: 27659721; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5034457.

2. Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: Recent research demonstrated that laser trabeculoplasty lowers Intra Ocular Pressure (IOP). The amount likely to favorably alter the clinical course of glaucoma (versus no treatment) and has the potential to bend the glaucoma-related blindness curve in the African-derived developing world. The long term goal of the project is to translate this finding through a public health initiative by establishing a Pan-Caribbean laser program to provide safe, effective, and cost-effective therapy for glaucoma in this underserved and overburdened region.

a. Dorairaj S, Tam MD, Balasubramani GK. Two-Year Clinical Outcomes of Combined Phacoemulsification, Goniosynechialysis, and Excisional Goniotomy For Angle-Closure Glaucoma. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2020 Oct 6;PubMed PMID: 33031110.

b. Realini T, Shillingford-Ricketts H, Burt D, Balasubramani GK. Crystalline lens changes after selective laser trabeculoplasty in Afro-Caribbean patients with open-angle glaucoma; report 4 of the West Indies Glaucoma Laser Study (WIGLS). J Cataract Refract Surg. 2019 Oct;45(10):1458-1462. PubMed PMID: 31564319; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6913200.

c. Realini T, Shillingford-Ricketts H, Burt D, Balasubramani GK. West Indies Glaucoma Laser Study (WIGLS) 3. Anterior Chamber Inflammation Following Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty in Afro[1]Caribbeans with Open-angle Glaucoma. J Glaucoma. 2019 Jul;28(7):622-625. PubMed PMID: 30921277; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6610644.

d. Realini T, Shillingford-Ricketts H, Burt D, Balasubramani GK. West Indies Glaucoma Laser Study (WIGLS): 1. 12-Month Efficacy of Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty in Afro-Caribbeans With Glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 Dec;184:28-33. PubMed PMID: 28962966; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5705413.

3. Contribution to Cancer Research: I have collaborated with the Radiation Oncology research team at the University of Pittsburgh. We engaged the population based data available in the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). We have analyzed the data to determine the patterns of care and evaluate the survival impact of adjuvant chemotherapy for various cancer diagnoses. I have provided the advanced statistical input to all the analysis carried out from the NCDB data base.

a. Schad MD, Patel AK, Glaser SM, Balasubramani GK, Showalter TN, Beriwal S, Vargo JA. Declining brachytherapy utilization for cervical cancer patients - Have we reversed the trend?. Gynecol Oncol. 2020 Mar;156(3):583-590. PubMed PMID: 31924333.

b. Glaser SM, Kalash R, Bongiorni DR, Roberts MS, Balasubramani GK, Jacobs BL, Beriwal S, Heron DE, Greenberger JS. Challenges in the Analysis of Outcomes for Surgical Compared to Radiotherapy Treatment of Prostate Cancer. In Vivo. 2018 Jan-Feb;32(1):113-120. PubMed PMID: 29275307; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5892645.

c. Dohopolski MJ, Glaser SM, Vargo JA, Balasubramani GK, Beriwal S. Stereotactic body radiotherapy for locally-advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer-patterns of care and overall survival. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2017 Oct;8(5):766-777. PubMed PMID: 29184680; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5674248.

d. Vargo JA, Patel A, Glaser SM, Balasubramani GK, Farah RJ, Marks SM, Beriwal S. The impact of the omission or inadequate dosing of radiotherapy in extranodal natural killer T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, in the United States. Cancer. 2017 Aug 15;123(16):3176-3185. PubMed PMID: 28380259.

4. The Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Consortium-The Cool Kids Trial: The Purpose of the study was to assess whether hypothermia improved outcomes particularly mortality after injury. The study was designed to ensure early randomization and initiation of cooling, longer cooling periods, slower rewarming, and strict protocol for the management of patients compared with previous pediatric severe traumatic brain injury hypothermia trials. I have been associated with this multi-center Cool Kids Trial and contributed to the data analysis, data interpretation, and writing of the statistical portion for the manuscripts.

a. Rosario BL, Horvat CM, Wisniewski SR, Bell MJ, Panigrahy A, Zuccoli G, Narayanan S, Balasubramani GK, Beers SR, Adelson PD. Presenting Characteristics Associated With Outcome in Children With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Secondary Analysis From a Randomized, Controlled Trial of Therapeutic Hypothermia. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2018 Oct;19(10):957-964. PubMed PMID: 30067578; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6170689.

b. Meinert E, Bell MJ, Buttram S, Kochanek PM, Balasubramani GK, Wisniewski SR, Adelson PD. Initiating Nutritional Support Before 72 Hours Is Associated With Favorable Outcome After Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Children: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized, Controlled Trial of Therapeutic Hypothermia. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2018 Apr;19(4):345-352. PubMed PMID: 29370008; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5886794.

c. Chin KH, Bell MJ, Wisniewski SR, Balasubramani GK, Kochanek PM, Beers SR, Brown SD, Adelson PD. Effect of administration of neuromuscular blocking agents in children with severe traumatic brain injury on acute complication rates and outcomes: a secondary analysis from a randomized, controlled trial of therapeutic hypothermia. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2015 May;16(4):352-8. PubMed PMID: 25599147; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4424136.

d. Adelson PD, Wisniewski SR, Beca J, Brown SD, Bell M, Muizelaar JP, Okada P, Beers SR, Balasubramani GK, Hirtz D. Comparison of hypothermia and normothermia after severe traumatic brain injury in children (Cool Kids): a phase 3, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Neurol. 2013 Jun;12(6):546-53. PubMed PMID: 23664370.

5. Contribution to adult nonpsychotic major depressive disorder: This study compares various treatment options for those who do not attain satisfactory response with Citalopram, an SSRI antidepressant. The main idea of the study attempts to fill in major clinical information gaps and to evaluate the theoretical principles and clinical beliefs that currently guide pharmacotherapy of Major Depressive Disorder. These publications provide the best method to evaluate the effectiveness of Citalopram using measurement[1]based care in actual practice and to identify predictors of symptom remission, in outpatients with major depressive disorder. I served as an analyst to analyze the primary data for this study.

a. Thase ME, McCrone P, Barrett MS, Eells TD, Wisniewski SR, Balasubramani GK, Brown GK, Wright JH. Improving Cost-effectiveness and Access to Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression: Providing Remote-Ready, Computer-Assisted Psychotherapy in Times of Crisis and Beyond. Psychother Psychosom. 2020;89(5):307-313. PubMed PMID: 32396917; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7483890.

b. Thase ME, Wright JH, Eells TD, Barrett MS, Wisniewski SR, Balasubramani GK, McCrone P, Brown GK. Improving the Efficiency of Psychotherapy for Depression: Computer-Assisted Versus Standard CBT. Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 1;175(3):242-250. PubMed PMID: 28969439; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5848497.

c. Dording CM, LaRocca RA, Hails KA, Vitolo OV, Wisniewski SR, Balasubramani GK, Trivedi M, Fava M, Mischoulon D. The effect of sildenafil on quality of life. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;25(1):3-10. PubMed PMID: 23376864.

d. Farabaugh A, Alpert J, Wisniewski SR, Otto MW, Fava M, Baer L, Perlis R, Friedman E, Nyer M, Bitran S, Balasubramani GK, Inamori A, Trivedi M, Thase ME. Cognitive therapy for anxious depression in STAR(*) D: what have we learned?. J Affect Disord. 2012 Dec 15;142(1-3):213-8. PubMed PMID: 22877961; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3483355.

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography