About Matthew Gurka
Dr. Gurka is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the department’s Vice Chair of Health Outcomes and Translational Research. He also directs the Pediatrics Research Hub (PoRCH; porch.pediatrics.med.ufl.edu).
Dr. Gurka has been continuously funded as a PI or MPI by the NIH since 2003. He currently co-leads the North Central Florida site of the NIH-funded Healthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) study (hbcdstudy.org), the largest long-term study of early brain and child development in the United States. Dr. Gurka also has extensive research experience in obesity and the metabolic syndrome across the lifespan. He and colleagues developed a continuous measure of metabolic syndrome severity that has been validated as a predictor of future disease (metscalc.org).
In addition to his independent research interests, Dr. Gurka is a collaborative biostatistician with a focus on child health research. He has led design and analysis efforts on dozens of NIH-funded observational studies and clinical trials. He received a Ph.D. in biostatistics with an emphasis in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his statistical research focus has been on the design and analysis of longitudinal studies, and more recently, pragmatic clinical trials. He has published articles in renowned statistical journals regarding complexities associated with the use of linear mixed models, and he served on the Editorial Panel of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A. His independent and collaborative research efforts, in addition to his leadership roles, have been recognized by his election as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and his selection into the Society of Pediatric Research.
Prior to his tenure at UF, Dr. Gurka was the Founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at West Virginia University, where he also led the Clinical Research Design, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics Program of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI). Before his stay at WVU, Dr. Gurka was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Gurka has extensive collaborative and independent research experience in pediatrics. He has obtained funding from the NICHD to study the impact of chronic illnesses such as asthma on development and behavior in children and adolescents. Recently he has focused on childhood and adult obesity, specifically studying the metabolic syndrome. He has obtained NIH funding (NIDDK R21, NHLBI R01) to develop and validate tools to measure metabolic syndrome severity. Currently he is leading numerous maternal and child health studies at UF, including co-leading the Florida site of the recently funded HBCD study, a ten-year national cohort of pregnant women and their children to study brain development in early childhood.
- Longitudinal research design and data analysis
- Metabolic syndrome
- Pediatric research