Dr. O’Brien obtained his Ph.D. in Statistics from North Carolina State University, and he now serves as Professor and Graduate Program Director of the Applied Statistics program at Loyola University Chicago as well as campus-wide and external statistical consultant. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France) and at the Universität Augsburg (Germany) as a part of the National Science Foundation’s Postdoctoral Research program. His current research focuses on robust optimal experimental designs whereby practitioners are provided the means to efficiently conduct their research studies with the lowest cost. He also teaches short courses worldwide on statistical consulting, statistical design, environmental and biomedical methods, and modeling of diverse systems and phenomena, and frequently teaches statistical concepts to non-technical audiences. At Loyola, Dr. O’Brien helped establish the undergraduate Bioinformatics program, and was co-PI on an NSF grant to fund undergraduate research in bioinformatics and computational genomics. He has won numerous teaching awards, and has held Visiting Professorship positions at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Kuwait University, University of Natal at Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) and in Thailand at Mahidol University, NIDA, and Thammasat University. Dr. O’Brien is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Benin, West Africa, where he taught Mathematics (in French), and has twice received William J. Fulbright scholarships to consult, teach and do research at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. Additionally, he has studied, taught or conducted research in approximately thirty countries outside the U.S., and regularly provides technical assistance to researchers at U.S. and international universities and organizations including Partners in Health, Statisticians without Borders, and the Infectious Disease Institute in Kampala, Uganda.
Office of Health, Infectious Disease and Nutrition
Bureau of Global Health
Tim O’Brien worked with the Global Health (GH) and the Economic Growth and Trade (EGAT) bureaus at USAID. In the context of global health in general, and infectious disease (malaria, TB, polio, neglected tropical diseases) and nutrition in particular, he provided guidance and advice on evidence-based evaluation/statistical methods, data analysis, research and experimental design, mathematical modeling, software/computer programming, and cultural issues related to sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.
In furtherance of his work in environmental/spatial statistics, Tim also worked with the EGAT group on issues related to water and global climate change (GCC). He especially focused on assessing the impact of GCC on GH programs at USAID, and in developing methods to protect GH programs from the negative effects of GCC. Within his Jefferson fellowship year, he also served as Embassy Science Fellow in Rabat Morocco working on renewable/clean energy and workforce development.