Photo of Martin Kulldorff,  PhD

Martin Kulldorff, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School
Phone: (617) 509-9757
Fax: (617) 859-8112

Martin Kulldorff, PhD

Harvard Medical School


  • Professor, Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Research Abstract

My primary research interest is in developing new statistical methods for disease surveillance and the application of those methods. For cancer surveillance, I have developed spatial and space-time scan statistics for proper statistical evaluation of geographical cancer clusters, to determine whether they are likely to be due to chance or not, adjusting for the multiple comparison inherent in the many potential cluster locations and sizes possible. The same methods can also be used for prospective surveillance for cluster detection and evaluation. While mostly used for count data such as cancer incidence or mortality, my research team has also developing spatial, temporal and space-time scan statistics for ordinal data such as cancer stage or grade and for continuous data such as cancer survival times.

In addition to my methodological work, I also collaborate on various types of cancer research projects as a biostatistician. This work includes health services research on cancer screening and other forms of prevention, nutritional cancer epidemiology studies and cancer surveillance efforts.


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  • Lieu TA, Ray GT, Klein NP, Chung C, Kulldorff M. Geographic clusters in underimmunization and vaccine refusal. Pediatrics 2015; 135:280-9. PubMed
  • Maro JC, Brown JS, Dal Pan GJ, Kulldorff M. Minimizing signal detection time in postmarket sequential analysis: balancing positive predictive value and sensitivity. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2014. PubMed
  • Toh S, Gagne JJ, Rassen JA, Fireman BH, Kulldorff M, Brown JS. Confounding adjustment in comparative effectiveness research conducted within distributed research networks. Med Care 2013; 51:S4-S10. PubMed
  • Jung I, Kulldorff M, Richard OJ. A spatial scan statistic for multinomial data. Stat Med 2010; 29:1910-8. PubMed
  • Li L, Kulldorff M. A conditional maximized sequential probability ratio test for pharmacovigilance. Stat Med 2010; 29:284-95. PubMed
  • Abrams AM, Kleinman K, Kulldorff M. Gumbel based p-value approximations for spatial scan statistics. Int J Health Geogr 2011; 9:61. PubMed
  • Curriero FC, Kulldorff M, Boscoe FP, Klassen AC. Using imputation to provide location information for nongeocoded addresses. PLoS ONE 2010; 5:e8998. PubMed
  • Brown JS,Kulldorff M,Petronis KR,Reynolds R,Chan KA,Davis RL,Graham D,Andrade SE,Raebel MA,Herrinton L,Roblin D,Boudreau D,Smith D,Gurwitz JH,Gunter MJ,Platt R. Early adverse drug event signal detection within population-based health networks using sequential methods: key methodologic considerations. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2009; 18:226-34. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Huang L, Konty K. A scan statistic for continuous data based on the normal probability model. Int J Health Geogr 2009; 8:58. PubMed
  • Hinrichsen VL, Klassen AC, Song C, Kulldorff M. Evaluation of the performance of tests for spatial randomness on prostate cancer data. Int J Health Geogr 2009; 8:41. PubMed
  • Brown JS,Kulldorff M,Chan KA,Davis RL,Graham D,Pettus PT,Andrade SE,Raebel MA,Herrinton L,Roblin D,Boudreau D,Smith D,Gurwitz JH,Gunter MJ,Platt R. Early detection of adverse drug events within population-based health networks: application of sequential testing methods. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2007; 16:1275-84. PubMed
  • Gunter MJ, Divi RL, Kulldorff M, Vermeulen R, Haverkos KJ, Kuo MM, Strickland P, Poirier MC, Rothman N, Sinha R. Leukocyte Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-DNA Adduct Formation and Colorectal Adenoma. Carcinogenesis 2007; 28:1426-9. PubMed
  • Gregorio DI, Huang L, Dechello LM, Samociuk H, Kulldorff M. Place of Residence Effect on Likelihood of Surviving Prostate Cancer. Ann Epidemiol 2007; 17:520-4. PubMed
  • Ward MH, Cross AJ, Divan H, Kulldorff M, Nowell-Kadlubar S, Kadlubar FF, Sinha R. Processed meat intake, CYP2A6 activity, and risk of colorectal adenoma. Carcinogenesis 2007; 28:1210-6. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Mostashari F, Duczmal L, Katherine Yih W, Kleinman K, Platt R. Multivariate scan statistics for disease surveillance. Stat Med 2007; 26:1824-33. PubMed
  • Rolka H, Burkom H, Cooper GF, Kulldorff M, Madigan D, Wong WK. Issues in applied statistics for public health bioterrorism surveillance using multiple data streams: research needs. Stat Med 2007; 26:1834-56. PubMed
  • Jung I, Kulldorff M, Klassen AC. A spatial scan statistic for ordinal data. Stat Med 2006; 26:1594-607. PubMed
  • Assun. Space-time cluster identification in point processes Canadian Journal of Statistics 2006; 35:9-25.
  • Jung I, Kulldorff M. Theoretical foundations of tests for spatial randomness Canadian Journal of Statistics 2006; 26:1594-1607.
  • Recuenco S, Eidson M, Kulldorff M, Johnson G, Cherry B. Spatial and temporal patterns of enzootic raccoon rabies adjusted for multiple covariates. Int J Health Geogr 2007; 6:14. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Huang L, Pickle L, Duczmal L. An elliptic spatial scan statistic. Stat Med 2006; 25:3929-43. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M. for spatial randomness adjusting for an underlying inhomogeneity: A general framework. Journal of the American Statistical Association 2006.
  • Huang L, Kulldorff M, Gregorio D. A spatial scan statistic for survival data. Biometrics 2006; 63:109-118.
  • Kulldorff M, Song C, Gregorio D, Samociuk H, DeChello L. Cancer map patterns: are they random or not? Am J Prev Med 2006; 30:S37-49. PubMed
  • Klassen AC, Curriero F, Kulldorff M, Alberg AJ, Platz EA, Neloms ST. Missing stage and grade in Maryland prostate cancer surveillance data, 1992-1997. Am J Prev Med 2006; 30:S77-87. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M. Tests for spatial randomness adjusting for an inhomogeneity: A general framework. JASA 2006; 101:1289-1305.
  • Glaz J, Kulldorff M, Pozdnyakov V, Steele JM. Gambling teams and waiting times for patterns in two-stage Markov chains Journal of Applied Probability 2006; 43:127-140.
  • Duczmal L, Kulldorff M, Huang L. Evaluation of spatial scan statistics for irregularly shaped clusters Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 2006; 15:428-442.
  • Gregorio DI, Dechello LM, Samociuk H, Kulldorff M. Lumping or splitting: seeking the preferred areal unit for health geography studies. Int J Health Geogr 2005; 4:6. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Heffernan R, Hartman J, Assun. A Space-Time Permutation Scan Statistic for Disease Outbreak Detection. PLoS Med 2005; 2:e59. PubMed
  • Gunter MJ, Probst-Hensch NM, Cortessis VK, Kulldorff M, Haile RW, Sinha R. Meat intake, cooking-related mutagens and risk of colorectal adenoma in a sigmoidoscopy-based case-control study. Carcinogenesis 2004; 26:637-42. PubMed
  • Klassen AC, Kulldorff M, Curriero F. Geographical clustering of prostate cancer grade and stage at diagnosis, before and after adjustment for risk factors. Int J Health Geogr 2005; 4:1. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Zhang Z, Hartman J, Heffernan R, Huang L, Mostashari F. Benchmark data and power calculations for evaluating disease outbreak detection methods. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2005; 53 Suppl:144-51. PubMed
  • Klassen AC, Curriero FC, Hong JH, Williams C, Kulldorff M, Meissner HI, Alberg A, Ensminger M. The role of area-level influences on prostate cancer grade and stage at diagnosis. Prev Med 2004; 39:441-8. PubMed
  • Joseph Sheehan T, DeChello LM, Kulldorff M, Gregorio DI, Gershman S, Mroszczyk M. The geographic distribution of breast cancer incidence in Massachusetts 1988 to 1997, adjusted for covariates. Int J Health Geogr 2004; 3:17. PubMed
  • Prestwood KM, Unson C, Kulldorff M, Cushman M. The effect of different doses of micronized 17beta-estradiol on C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and lipids in older women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2004; 59:827-32. PubMed
  • Fang Z, Kulldorff M, Gregorio DI. Brain cancer mortality in the United States, 1986 to 1995: a geographic analysis. Neuro-oncol 2004; 6:179-87. PubMed
  • Heffernan R, Mostashari F, Das D, Karpati A, Kulldorff M, Weiss D. Syndromic surveillance in public health practice, New York City. Emerg Infect Dis 2004; 10:858-64. PubMed
  • Mathew A, Peters U, Chatterjee N, Kulldorff M, Sinha R. Fat, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and risk of colorectal adenomas. Int J Cancer 2003; 108:287-92. PubMed
  • Peters U, Sinha R, Bell DA, Rothman N, Grant DJ, Watson MA, Kulldorff M, Brooks LR, Warren SH, DeMarini DM. Urinary mutagenesis and fried red meat intake: influence of cooking temperature, phenotype, and genotype of metabolizing enzymes in a controlled feeding study. Environ Mol Mutagen 2004; 43:53-74. PubMed
  • Gregorio DI, Kulldorff M, Sheehan TJ, Samociuk H. Geographic distribution of prostate cancer incidence in the era of PSA testing, Connecticut, 1984 to 1998. Urology 2004; 63:78-82. PubMed
  • Song C, Kulldorff M. Power evaluation of disease clustering tests. Int J Health Geogr 2003; 2:9. PubMed
  • Fang LQ, Cao WC, Dun Z, Wu XM, Sun PY, Kulldorff M, Wang BC, Yang H, Li XW. [Spatial analysis on the distribution of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome by geographic information system in Haidian district, Beijing] Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi 2003; 24:1020-3. PubMed
  • Prestwood KM, Kenny AM, Kleppinger A, Kulldorff M. Ultralow-dose micronized 17beta-estradiol and bone density and bone metabolism in older women: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003; 290:1042-8. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Fang Z, Walsh SJ. A tree-based scan statistic for database disease surveillance. Biometrics 2003; 59:323-31. PubMed
  • Mostashari F, Kulldorff M, Hartman JJ, Miller JR, Kulasekera V. Dead bird clusters as an early warning system for West Nile virus activity. Emerg Infect Dis 2003; 9:641-6. PubMed
  • Peters U, Sinha R, Chatterjee N, Subar AF, Ziegler RG, Kulldorff M, Bresalier R, Weissfeld JL, Flood A, Schatzkin A, Hayes RB,. Dietary fibre and colorectal adenoma in a colorectal cancer early detection programme. Lancet 2003; 361:1491-5. PubMed
  • Fang Z, Smith JA, Kleppinger A, Reisine ST, Emerson D, Kulldorff M. Retrospective evaluation and adjustment of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements for bone mineral density research studies. J Clin Densitom 2003; 5:421-33. PubMed
  • Oncken C, Prestwood K, Cooney JL, Unson C, Fall P, Kulldorff M, Raisz LG. Effects of smoking cessation or reduction on hormone profiles and bone turnover in postmenopausal women. Nicotine Tob Res 2003; 4:451-8. PubMed
  • Anderson KE, Sinha R, Kulldorff M, Gross M, Lang NP, Barber C, Harnack L, DiMagno E, Bliss R, Kadlubar FF. Meat intake and cooking techniques: associations with pancreatic cancer. Mutat Res 2002; 506-507:225-31. PubMed
  • Jemal A, Kulldorff M, Devesa SS, Hayes RB, Fraumeni JF. A geographic analysis of prostate cancer mortality in the United States, 1970-89. Int J Cancer 2002; 101:168-74. PubMed
  • Gregorio DI, Kulldorff M, Barry L, Samociuk H. Geographic differences in invasive and in situ breast cancer incidence according to precise geographic coordinates, Connecticut, 1991-95. Int J Cancer 2002; 100:194-8. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M. Geographical distribution of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in France. Int J Epidemiol 2002; 31:495-6. PubMed
  • Ishibe N, Sinha R, Hein DW, Kulldorff M, Strickland P, Fretland AJ, Chow WH, Kadlubar FF, Lang NP, Rothman N. Genetic polymorphisms in heterocyclic amine metabolism and risk of colorectal adenomas. Pharmacogenetics 2002; 12:145-50. PubMed
  • Gregorio DI, Kulldorff M, Barry L, Samocuik H, Zarfos K. Geographical differences in primary therapy for early-stage breast cancer. Ann Surg Oncol 2002; 8:844-9. PubMed
  • Sinha R, Kulldorff M, Chow WH, Denobile J, Rothman N. Dietary intake of heterocyclic amines, meat-derived mutagenic activity, and risk of colorectal adenomas. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2001; 10:559-62. PubMed
  • Prestwood KM, Kenny AM, Unson C, Kulldorff M. The effect of low dose micronized 17ss-estradiol on bone turnover, sex hormone levels, and side effects in older women: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001; 85:4462-9. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Sinha R, Chow WH, Rothman N. Comparing odds ratios for nested subsets of dietary components. Int J Epidemiol 2000; 29:1060-4. PubMed
  • Jemal A, Devesa S, Kulldorff M, Hayes R, Fraumeni J. Geographic variation in prostate cancer mortality rates among white males in the united states. Ann Epidemiol 2000; 10:470. PubMed
  • Talbot TO, Kulldorff M, Forand SP, Haley VB. Evaluation of spatial filters to create smoothed maps of health data. Stat Med 2000; 19:2399-408. PubMed
  • Sinha R, Gustafson DR, Kulldorff M, Wen WQ, Cerhan JR, Zheng W. 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine, a carcinogen in high-temperature-cooked meat, and breast cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000; 92:1352-4. PubMed
  • Subar AF, Midthune D, Kulldorff M, Brown CC, Thompson FE, Kipnis V, Schatzkin A. Evaluation of alternative approaches to assign nutrient values to food groups in food frequency questionnaires. Am J Epidemiol 2000; 152:279-86. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, McShane LM, Schatzkin A, Freedman LS, Wargovich MJ, Woods C, Purewal M, Burt RW, Lawson M, Mateski DJ, Lanza E, Corle DK, O'Brien B, Moler J. Measuring cell proliferation in the rectal mucosa. comparing bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) assays. J Clin Epidemiol 2000; 53:875-83. PubMed
  • Sinha R, Kulldorff M, Swanson CA, Curtin J, Brownson RC, Alavanja MC. Dietary heterocyclic amines and the risk of lung cancer among Missouri women. Cancer Res 2000; 60:3753-6. PubMed
  • Velie E, Kulldorff M, Schairer C, Block G, Albanes D, Schatzkin A. Dietary fat, fat subtypes, and breast cancer in postmenopausal women: a prospective cohort study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000; 92:833-9. PubMed
  • Huang L, Tiwari R, Zuo J, Kulldorff M, Feuer E. Weighted normal spatial scan statistic for heterogenous population data 2009.
  • Lawson AB, Simeon S, Kulldorff M, Biggeri A, Magnani C . Line and point cluster models for spatial health data 2007; 51:6027-6043.
  • Kulldorff M. Mathematical formula for Swartz' Entropy Test Statistic. Health Place 2000; 5:313. PubMed
  • Velie EM, Block G, Shaw GM, Samuels SJ, Schaffer DM, Kulldorff M. Maternal supplemental and dietary zinc intake and the occurrence of neural tube defects in California. Am J Epidemiol 1999; 150:605-16. PubMed
  • Sinha R, Chow WH, Kulldorff M, Denobile J, Butler J, Garcia-Closas M, Weil R, Hoover RN, Rothman N. Well-done, grilled red meat increases the risk of colorectal adenomas. Cancer Res 1999; 59:4320-4. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Hjalmars U. The Knox method and other tests for space-time interaction. Biometrics 2001; 55:544-52. PubMed
  • Hjalmars U, Kulldorff M, Wahlqvist Y, Lannering B. Increased incidence rates but no space-time clustering of childhood astrocytoma in Sweden, 1973-1992: a population-based study of pediatric brain tumors. Cancer 1999; 85:2077-90. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Graubard B, Velie E. The P-value and P-value function. Epidemiology 1999; 10:345-7. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M. Geographic information systems (GIS) and community health: some statistical issues. J Public Health Manag Pract 1999; 5:100-6. PubMed
  • Sinha R, Kulldorff M, Curtin J, Brown CC, Alavanja MC, Swanson CA. Fried, well-done red meat and risk of lung cancer in women (United States). Cancer Causes Control 1999; 9:621-30. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Athas WF, Feurer EJ, Miller BA, Key CR. Evaluating cluster alarms: a space-time scan statistic and brain cancer in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Am J Public Health 1998; 88:1377-80. PubMed
  • McShane LM, Kulldorff M, Wargovich MJ, Woods C, Purewal M, Freedman LS, Corle DK, Burt RW, Mateski DJ, Lawson M, Lanza E, O'Brien B, Lake W, Moler J, Schatzkin A. An evaluation of rectal mucosal proliferation measure variability sources in the polyp prevention trial: can we detect informative differences among individuals' proliferation measures amid the noise? Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1998; 7:605-12. PubMed
  • Swanson CA, Brown CC, Sinha R, Kulldorff M, Brownson RC, Alavanja MC. Dietary fats and lung cancer risk among women: the Missouri Women's Health Study (United States) Cancer Causes Control 1998; 8:883-93. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Feuer EJ, Miller BA, Freedman LS. Breast cancer clusters in the northeast United States: a geographic analysis. Am J Epidemiol 1997; 146:161-70. PubMed
  • Hjalmars U, Kulldorff M, Gustafsson G, Nagarwalla N. Childhood leukaemia in Sweden: using GIS and a spatial scan statistic for cluster detection. Stat Med 1996; 15:707-15. PubMed
  • Abrahamsson A, Adami HO, Taube A, Kim K, Zelen M, Kulldorff M. Re: Long-term survival and mortality in prostate cancer treated with noncurative intent. J Urol 1996; 155:296-8. PubMed
  • Kulldorff M, Nagarwalla N. Spatial disease clusters: detection and inference. Stat Med 1995; 14:799-810. PubMed
  • Hjalmars U, Kulldorff M, Gustafsson G. Risk of acute childhood leukaemia in Sweden after the Chernobyl reactor accident. Swedish Child Leukaemia Group. BMJ 1994; 309:154-7. PubMed