Bizu Gelaye, PhD, MPH

Research ScientistBizu
Department of Epidemiology, HSPH


Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave., Room 501,
Boston, MA 02115

Phone 617-432-1071


Fax 617-566-7805

Research Interests
My research interests include a focus on: (1) assessing the comparative effectiveness of screening and diagnostic instruments for neuropsychiatric disorders in low and middle income countries; (2) integrating biological markers into clinical and population-based studies to identify factors that contribute to both resilience and risk of psychiatric disorders, (3) applying advanced epidemiologic and statistical methods in psychometric research; and (4) understanding the epidemiology of chronic non-communicable diseases in global settings. I have extensive experience in the design and execution of large scale biomarker-epidemiologic studies in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Recently, I led a study that evaluated the diagnostic validity of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) assessment instruments for depression in Ethiopia. In addition to my scientific contributions, I have been managing the HSPH Multidisciplinary International Research Training (MIRT/MHIRT) Program (formerly the UW MIRT/MHIRT) for more than ten years.

Selected Publications

  1. Gelaye B, Williams MA, Lemma S, Deyessa N, Bahretibeb Y, Shibre T, Wondimagegn D, Lemenh A, Fann JR, Vander Stoep A, Zhou XA. Validity of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 for Depression Screening and Diagnosis in East Africa. Psychiatric Research 2013. PubMed
  2. Zhong Q, Gelaye B, Fann JR, Sanchez SE, Williams MA. Cross-cultural validity of the Spanish version of PHQ-9 among pregnant Peruvian women: a Rasch item response theory analysis. J Affect Disord. 2014 Apr;158:148-53. PubMed
  3. Gelaye B, Williams MA, Lemma S, Berhane Y, Fann JR, Stoep AV, Zhou XH. Major depressive disorder and cardiometabolic disease risk among sub-Saharan African adults. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2014 Jun 14. pii: S1871-4021(14)00052.  PubMed
  4. Chen X, Gelaye B, Williams MA. Sleep characteristics and health-related quality of life among a national sample of American young adults: assessment of possible health disparities. Qual Life Res. 2013 Jul 17. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
  5. Gelaye B, Tadesse MG, Williams MA, Fann JR, Vander Stoep A, Andrew Zhou XH. Assessing validity of a depression screening instrument in the absence of a gold standard. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Jul;24(7):527-31. PubMed
  6. Gelaye B, Peterlin BL, Lemma S, Tesfaye M, Berhane Y, Williams MA. Migraine and psychiatric comorbidities among Sub-Saharan African adults. Headache. 2012. 1526-4610. PubMed