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

Dr. Gelaye’s research include a focus on: (1) understanding neuropsychiatric disorders among pregnant and postpartum women; (2) integrating biological and molecular markers into clinical and population-based studies to identify factors that contribute to both resilience and risk of neuropsychiatric disorders; (3) applying advanced epidemiologic and statistical methods in studies designed to assess the psychometric properties of screening and diagnostic instruments (psychiatric and sleep medicine instruments) used in multicultural settings; and (4) understanding the epidemiology of chronic non-communicable diseases in low and middle income countries. He has extensive experience in the design and execution of large scale biomarker-epidemiologic studies of non-communicable disease risk factors in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. In addition to his research experience, Dr. Gelaye has extensive experience in research administration, training and mentoring through the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Program (formerly the University of Washington MHIRT/MIRT Program) over the past 11 years. The Harvard MHIRT Program, an award winning national program, funded by the NIMHD provides intensive research training opportunities (in international settings) to graduate and undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in research careers.

Selected Publications

  1. Gelaye B, Sumner SJ, McRitchie S, Carlson JE, Ananth CV, Enquobahrie DA, Qiu C, Sorensen TK, Williams MA. Maternal Early Pregnancy Serum Metabolomics Profile and Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding as Predictors of Placental Abruption: A Prospective Study. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 14;11(6):e0156755. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156755. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27300725.
  2. Gelaye B, Kajeepeta S, Williams MA. Suicidal ideation in pregnancy: an epidemiologic review. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 27324912
  3. Gelaye B, Do N, Avila S, Carlos Velez J, Zhong QY, Sanchez SE, Peterlin BL, Williams MA. Childhood Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence and Risk of Migraine Among Pregnant Women: An Epidemiologic Study. Headache. 2016 May 31. doi: 10.1111/head.12855. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27242154.
  4. Qiu C, Gelaye B, Denis M, Tadesse MG, Enquobahrie DA, Ananth CV, Pacora PN, Salazar M, Sanchez SE, Williams MA. Placental genetic variations in circadian clock-related genes increase the risk of placental abruption. Int J Mol Epidemiol Genet. 2016 Mar 23;7(1):32-40.
  5. Gelaye B, Zhong QY, Barrios YV, Redline S, Drake CL, Williams MA. Psychometric Evaluation of the Ford Insomnia Response to Stress Test (FIRST) in Early Pregnancy. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016 Feb 1. pii: jc-00330-15. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26857055.
  6. Gelaye B, Larrabure-Torrealva GT, Qiu C, Luque-Fernandez MA, Peterlin BL, Sanchez SE, Williams MA. Fasting lipid and lipoproteins concentrations in pregnant women with a history of migraine. Headache. 2015 May;55(5):646-57. PubMed PMID: 25904286; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4439363
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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