Dr. Rahbar received his undergraduate degree in Statistics from Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran, in 1978 and was awarded a Master’s degree in Statistics from the same university in 1980. He obtained his PhD degree in Statistics from Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan, in 1988. Dr. Rahbar is not a clinician but has considerable experience leading Data Coordinating Center (DCC) activities for multicenter clinical trials and prospective studies in trauma, stroke, cancer, and maternal & child health with a particular focus on autism spectrum disorders. In 2008, Dr. Rahbar joined the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) as Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health. He also serves as Director, Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Research Design (BERD) component of Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) at UTHealth. In 2012, Dr. Rahbar was appointed as the founding Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Sciences (DCTS) in the Department of Internal Medicine at UTHealth. Currently, he is a tenured professor in Internal Medicine and the School of Public Health.  Dr. Rahbar is a member of several professional organizations including Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM), American Statistical Association (ASA), Society of Epidemiological Research (SER), International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), Canadian–USA Clinical Epidemiology Network, Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute. Dr. Rahbar serves as a member of Advisory Group to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding Maternal and Perinatal Health Research and Reproductive Epidemiology.  He is Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Autism (AJA) and recipient of several prestigious grant awards from NICHD, NIEHS, NHLBI, NINDS, DoD, and WHO. Dr. Rahbar’s research interest is in global maternal and child health, with a particular focus on the developing countries. With funding from WHO, he conducted a multi-site community based research study assessing the blood lead concentrations among children living in Karachi, Pakistan. While at MSU, Dr. Rahbar served as PI of the DCC for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded national network of autism research centers during 2004-2008. Since 2008 when Dr. Rahbar joined UTHealth, he has been successful in obtaining funding for several multi-million dollar projects including his role as the PI of the DCC for a Prospective, Observational, Multi-center Major Trauma Transfusion (PROMMTT) Study, a $ 9.8-milion DoD funded project; PI of Data Core for The University of Texas Specialized Program in Acute Stroke (SPOTRIAS) funded by NINDS; PI of Data Management and Statistical Core for “Genetics and Ankylosing Spondylitis Pathogenesis”, funded by NIAMS/NIH; and a R01grant funded by NIEHS, “Epidemiological Research on Autism in Jamaica”.  Dr. Rahbar also collaborates with various faculty at UTHealth and provides support to various activities from study design to data management/data quality assurance, statistical analysis, and participation in writing and reviewing manuscripts and grants.


Bachelor Degree
Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Master Degree
Statistics, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Doctoral Degree
Statistics, Michigan State University (MSU), MI

Areas of Interests

Research Interests

• Gene-Environment Interactions in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorders • Statistical Methodology Development in Blood Transfusion Protocol Research • Environmental Health with a focus on toxins including heavy metals, PCBs and OC Pesticides • Clinical Trials with a particular focus on analytic Issues in multicenter/multisite studies Sequential Procedures and Adaptive Trial Designs • Global Health; Developmental Disabilities • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis • Data Mining • Survival Analysis • Statistical and Study Design Issues in Epidemiology • Medical Informatics