Rajeshwari Sundaram, M.S.,Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Branch


6710B 3232



Research Topics

Statistical Methods for Assessing Reproductive Health

Human fecundity, defined as the biologic capacity of men and women for reproduction irrespective of pregnancy intentions, is of considerable public health interest, given growing evidence supporting its worldwide decline. As clinical and public health groups work toward the implementation of preconception clinical guidance for couples at risk for pregnancy and more globally reproductive health, it is imperative to understand both male and female determinants of fecundity and fertility. To accomplish this goal, statistical models that incorporate biological features of both members of the couple are needed. This is challenging since complex multivariate longitudinal modeling techniques need to be developed to adequately reflect the biology. My research focuses on developing statistical modeling for predicting time-to-pregnancy and for understanding the effects of important behavioral and environmental factors on the time-to-event outcome. We also focus on methods that allow us to assess longitudinal processes and show how they can be used to predict time-to-pregnancy dynamically.

Another significant aspect of our research is in developing methods involving recurrent events or panel count data with informative examination time points, with a goal towards assessing spontaneous labor in women. We are also exploring innovative stochastic differential equations to assess labor.


Dr Sundaram received her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 1991 from Calcutta University and a Master’s degree in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis from Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India. She received her Ph. D. in Statistics from Michigan State University in 1999. After serving as an Assistant Professor in Department of Mathematics, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she joined BBB (then, Biometry and Mathematical Statistics Branch) in 2006 as a tenure-track investigator. She became Senior investigator in 2014.

Selected Publications

  1. Sundaram R, McLain AC, Buck Louis GM. A survival analysis approach to modeling human fecundity. Biostatistics. 2012;13(1):4-17.

  2. McLain AC, Lum KJ, Sundaram R. A joint mixed effects dispersion model for menstrual cycle length and time-to-pregnancy. Biometrics. 2012;68(2):648-56.

  3. Lum KJ, Sundaram R, Louis TA. Accounting for length-bias and selection effects in estimating the distribution of menstrual cycle length. Biostatistics. 2015;16(1):113-28.

  4. Lynch CD, Sundaram R, Maisog JM, Sweeney AM, Buck Louis GM. Preconception stress increases the risk of infertility: results from a couple-based prospective cohort study--the LIFE study. Hum Reprod. 2014;29(5):1067-75.

  5. Buck Louis GM, Kannan K, Sapra KJ, Maisog J, Sundaram R. Urinary concentrations of benzophenone-type ultraviolet radiation filters and couples' fecundity. Am J Epidemiol. 2014;180(12):1168-75.

This page was last updated on September 10th, 2018