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Headshot of Michael Harhay

Michael Harhay

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine

  • ask me about Bayesian statistics or hot yoga!


Dr. Michael Harhay leads a research program that develops statistical methods, study designs, and outcome measures to improve studies for patients with critical and severe illnesses. As director of the NIH and PCORI-funded Clinical Trials Methods and Outcomes Lab at Penn’s PAIR (Palliative and Advanced Illness Research) Center, his team is particularly interested in developing and using causal inference and Bayesian statistical methods to better design and analyze pragmatic and cluster-randomized trials for these patient populations. Dr. Harhay’s team has contributed to a wide range of clinical trial methodology areas, including informatively missing/truncated data, composite outcome design, analysis, and interpretation, Bayesian trial applications, small-sample corrections, estimands, and making the best use of baseline covariate information. In 2022, he joined the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit as the Director of Statistical Evaluation, where he applies these methods to studies embedded in Penn Medicine’s learning health system. He is also MPI (with Dr. Nuala Meyer) of Penn’s NHLBI/NIGMS U01 ARDS, Pneumonia, and Sepsis (APS) Phenotyping Consortium Center, and co-chair of the APS Data Science Subcommittee.

Dr. Harhay has authored more than 200 scientific publications and is involved in a wide range of international research activities, including randomized trial data safety and monitoring boards, societal and trial steering committees, and research consortia. He currently serves as deputy editor of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and is an editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology. As an educator, he has developed and leads multiple new graduate courses and serves as associate chair of the PhD program in epidemiology at Penn. He is the recipient of several teaching and research awards, including the 2021 Assembly on Critical Care Early Career Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society and the 2023 Early Career Epidemiologist Award from the American College of Epidemiology. In 2023, he was named an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology at the University College London.