Bizu Gelaye, PhD, MPH

Research ScientistBizu
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health


Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave., Room 505
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 Harvard Multidisciplinary International Research Training (MIRT/MHIRT) Program (formerly the UW MIRT/MHIRT) for more than ten years.

Selected Publications

  1. Gelaye B, Lohsoonthorn V, Lertmeharit S, Pensuksan WC, Sanchez SE, Lemma S, Berhane Y, Zhu X, Vélez JC, Barbosa C, Anderade A, Tadesse MG, Williams MA. Construct validity and factor structure of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale in a multi-national study of African, South East Asian and South American college students. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 31;9(12):e116383. View in: PubMed
  2. Orta OR, Gelaye B, Qiu C, Stoner L, Williams MA. Depression, anxiety and stress among pregnant migraineurs in a pacific-northwest cohort. J Affect Disord. 2014 Oct 22;172C:390-396. View in: PubMed
  3.  Luque-Fernandez MA, Ananth CV, Sanchez SE, Qiu CF, Hernandez-Diaz S, Valdimarsdottir U, Gelaye B, Williams MA. Absence of circadian rhythms of preterm premature rupture of membranes and preterm placental abruption. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Oct 15;24(12):882-887. View in: PubMed
  4. Denis M, Enquobahrie DA, Tadesse MG, Gelaye B, Sanchez SE, Salazar M, Ananth CV, Williams MA. Placental genome and maternal-placental genetic interactions: a genome-wide and candidate gene association study of placental abruption. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 30;9(12):e116346. View in: PubMed
  5. Wosu AC, Gelaye B, Valdimarsdóttir U, Kirschbaum C, Stalder T, Shields AE, Williams MA. Hair cortisol in relation to sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics in a multiethnic US sample. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Nov 28. pii: S1047-2797(14)00527-4. View in: PubMed
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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