Parent Page: Departments & Centers id: 26023 Active Page: Elisa T. Leeid:26307
Elisa T. Lee

George Lynn Cross Research Professor (Emeritus)

Elisa T. Lee, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone: (405) 271-3090

Office: Hudson College of Public Health

801 Northeast 13th Street, Room 112B

Post Office Box 26901

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104



Dr. Lee joined the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1975 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She was promoted to Associate Professor and Professor, in 1980 and 1985, respectively. In 1990, she became a George Lynn Cross Research Professor. From 1992 to 1994, she was Associate Dean for Research of the College of Public Health. In 1994 she was appointed Dean of the College of Public Health, a position she held until 2002. 

In 1994, Dr. Lee established the Center for American Indian Health Research (CAIHR) in the College of Public Health. The CAIHR is funded by grants from NIH, CDC, and other funding agencies. Dr. Lee served as the director of CAIHR from 1994 until her retirement from the OUHSC in 2017. During the 23 years, the CAIHR received about $50 million research funds from NIH, CDC, and other federal and local agencies. Major grants included the Strong Heart Study (funded by NHLBI, 1988–Present), iDASH (to protect privacy in research, funded by NHLBI, 2017–Present), Fatty Liver Disease & Determinants (funded by NIDDK, 2016-Present), Balance Study (funded by NHLBI, 2006-2011), Stop Atherosclerosis in Native Diabetics (SANDS, funded by NHLBI, 2002-2009), Vision Keepers (funded by NEI, 1992-2001), Cherokee Diabetes Study (funded by NIDDK, 1995-2000), Oklahoma Center for Prevention in Native Americans (funded by CDC ,1994-1998), Oklahoma Native American EXPORT Center (funded by NCMHD, 2003-2007), and WHO Multicenter Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes (funded by NIDDK, 1988-1999). Dr. Lee received many awards for her research, including the OU Regents’ Award for Superior Research.

Dr. Lee has published more than 280 technical papers and authored a book entitled Statistical Methods for Survival Data Analysis (published by John Wiley) which is in its 4th edition (3rd and 4th editions co-authored with Wenyu Wang). She taught many courses in both biostatistics and epidemiology and directed numerous Master’s and Doctoral students. She received the OU Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching. Dr. Lee has served on numerous federal and state advisory boards and committees (e.g., study sections, councils, Data Safety Monitoring Boards, Observational Study Monitoring Boards of NIH, advisory committees of FDA, the Epidemiological Board of Armed Forces and advisory committees of VA, ADA and Oklahoma State Health Department). Currently, she still serves as an active consultant to the Strong Heart Study and iDASH, attending regular meetings, reviewing new papers and proposals, and participating in publications.



  • Ph.D. New York University, N.Y.
  • M.A. University of California, Berkeley.
  • B.A. National Taiwan University, Taiwan, China.



  • George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Emeritus, 2017–present
  • Regents Professor Emeritus, 2017–present
  • George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, 1990–2017
  • Regents Professor, 2011–2017
  • Director, Center for American Indian Health Research, 1994–2017
  • Dean, College of Public Health, 1994–2002
  • Associate Dean for Research, College of Public Health, 1992–1994
  • Fellow, American Statistical Association, 1996
  • Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, 1985–1990
  • Director, WHO Collaborating Center for Epidemiologic Research in Diabetes, 1988 1998
  • Director, Oklahoma Center for Prevention Research in Native Americans, 1994 1998
  • Director, Oklahoma Native American EXPORT Center, 2003 2007


  • BSE 5163 Biostatistics Methods I
  • BSE 5653 Nonparametric Methods
  • BSE 5603 Sampling Theory and Methods
  • BSE 6643 Survival Data Analysis
  • BSE 5153 Clinical Trials
  • BSE 5193 Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
  • BSE 5803 Epidemiology and Prevention of Diabetes
  • BSE 5353 Multicenter Clinical and epidemiological Studies


Research Interests:

  • Epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and eye disease
  • American Indian health
  • Prevention research


Link to Dr. Lee's current publications

Select Publications:


  1. Lee, Elisa T. and Wang W.  Statistical Methods for Survival Data Analysis, 4th ed., John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, N.J., 2013.


  1. Lee ET, Wang W, Zhang Y, Ali T, Rhoades E, Jobe J, Knehans AW, Yeh J, Johnson MR, Willis DJ, Yeh F.  Results and Lessons Learned  from a Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program for American Indians – The Balance Study.  Int J Health and Nutrition 2015, 5(3):26-37.
  2. Zhang M, An Q, Yeh F, Zhang Y, Howard BV, Lee ET, Zhao J.  Smoking-attributable mortality in American Indians: finding from the Strong Heart Study.  Eur J Epidemiol, May 13, 2015, published online first. DOI 10.1007/s10654-015-0031-8.
  3. Haring B, Wang W, Lee ET, Jhamnani S, Howard BV, and Devereux RB. Dietary  sodium and potassium intake on left ventricular diastolic function and mass in adults <40  years (from the Strong Heart Study).  Am J Cardiol. 2015, published online first.
  4. Yan F, Lee ET, Mayberry RM, Umpierrez G, Wang W, Cha E. A self-assessment tool for screening young adults at risk of type 2 diabetes using Strong Heart Family Study data. The Diabetes Educator, 2016; 42(5): 607-617. PMID: 27480523 PMCID: PMC5026626
  5. Wang W, Zhang Y,  Lee ET, Howard BV, et al. Risk factors and prediction of stroke in a population with high prevalence of diabetes: The Strong Heart Study. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases 2017; 7:145-162.  PMDIC: PMC5538319