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
  • Professor, Medicine, Brigham And Women's Hospital


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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  • Wang SV, Kulldorff M, Glynn RJ, Gagne JJ, Pottegård A, Rothman KJ, Schneeweiss S, Walker AM. Reuse of data sources to evaluate drug safety signals: When is it appropriate? Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2018; 27:567-569. PubMed
  • Lu CY, Simon G, Soumerai SB, Kulldorff M. Counter-Point: Early Warning Systems Are Imperfect, but Essential. Med Care 2018; 56:382-383. PubMed
  • Wehner MR, Levandoski KA, Kulldorff M, Asgari MM. Research Techniques Made Simple: An Introduction to Use and Analysis of Big Data in Dermatology. J Invest Dermatol 2017; 137:e153-e158. PubMed
  • Ray GT, Kulldorff M, Asgari MM. Geographic Clusters of Basal Cell Carcinoma in a Northern California Health Plan Population. JAMA Dermatol 2016. PubMed
  • Boscoe FP, Talbot TO, Kulldorff M. Public domain small-area cancer incidence data for New York State, 2005-2009. Geospat Health 2016; 11:304. PubMed
  • 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:S4-10. 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
  • Curriero FC, Kulldorff M, Boscoe FP, Klassen AC. Using imputation to provide location information for nongeocoded addresses. PLoS ONE 2010; 5:e8998. PubMed
  • Abrams AM, Kleinman K, Kulldorff M. Gumbel based p-value approximations for spatial scan statistics. Int J Health Geogr 2011; 9:61. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Assun. Space-time cluster identification in point processes Canadian Journal of Statistics 2006; 35:9-25.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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
  • Kulldorff M. Tests for spatial randomness adjusting for an inhomogeneity: A general framework. JASA 2006; 101:1289-1305.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lawson AB, Simeon S, Kulldorff M, Biggeri A, Magnani C . Line and point cluster models for spatial health data 2007; 51:6027-6043.
  • Huang L, Tiwari R, Zuo J, Kulldorff M, Feuer E. Weighted normal spatial scan statistic for heterogenous population data 2009.