About me

I am Ashkan Ertefaie, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

My methodological research interest lies in personalized medicine, sequential multiple assignment randomized trials (SMARTs), causal inference, comparative effectiveness studies using randomized trials and electronic health records, instrumental variable analyses, high-dimensional data analysis, post selection inference, and survival analysis. 

During my postdoctoral training at University of Michigan, I was involved with multiple projects on designing and analyzing SMART data and prepared multiple R packages and a SAS macro under supervision of Dr. Susan Murphy. 

While continuing to work on personalized medicine, my research at the University of Pennsylvania was mainly focused on analyzing observational data using principal stratification and propensity score methods under supervision of Drs. Dylan Small and Sean Hennessy.


  1. Our manuscript, Improved Doubly Robust Estimation in Marginal Mean Models for Dynamic Regimes, has been accepted for publication in Journal of Causal Inference.
  2. Our manuscript, Using Clinical History Factors to Identify Bacterial Infections in Young Febrile Infants, has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics. (Click here to read the original news)
  3. I am exited to start working on our new NINDS R61/R33 grant focused on advancing personalized medicine in PD using harmonized multi-site clinical data.
  4. Welcome to new postdoctoral fellow, Indrabati Bhattacharya from North Carolina State University. Great to have you join the lab!
  5. Our manuscript, Robust Q-learning, has been accepted for publication in Journal of the American Statistical Association. (Click here to read the original news)


  • Ertefaie, A., Hejazi, N. S., & van der Laan, M. J. (2020). Nonparametric inverse probability weighted estimators based on the highly adaptive lasso. arXiv preprint arXiv:2005.11303.
  • Ye, T., Ertefaie, A., Flory, J., Hennessy, S., & Small, D. S. (2020). Controlling for Unmeasured Confounding in the Presence of Time: Instrumental Variable for Trend. arXiv preprint arXiv:2011.03593.
  • Artman, W. J., Ertefaie, A., Lynch, K. G., McKay, J. R., & Johnson, B. A. (2020) Adjusting for Partial Compliance in SMARTs: a Bayesian Semiparametric Approach. arXiv preprint arXiv:2005.10307.
  • Artman, W. J., Ertefaie, A., Lynch, K. G., & McKay, J. R. (2020) Bayesian Set of Best Dynamic Treatment Regimes and Sample Size Determination for SMARTs with Binary Outcomes. arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.02341.
  • Zhao, Q., Small, D. S., and Ertefaie, A. (2017) Selective inference for effect modification via the lasso, arXiv preprint arXiv:1705.0802


Lab Members

Postdoctoral Fellows

Indrabati Bhattacharya

Nonparametric Bayes methods, Q-learning, Partial Compliance.

Biraj Subhra Guha

Nonparametric Bayes methods, Reward Learning, Machine Learning, Partial Compliance.

Graduate Students

William Artman

Bayesian semiparametric methods, Dynamic treatment regimes, Instrumental variable analyses.

Jeremiah Jones

Post-selection inference, Precision medicine, Machine learning, Mediation analyses, Causal inference.​

Samuel Weisenthal

Reinforcement learning, Semiparametric theory.

Cuong Pham

Instrumental variable analyses, individualized medicine, Semiparametric theory.

Luke Duttweiler

individualized medicine, longitudinal data, marginal structural models, Semiparametric theory, causal inference.


WHAT's up next

R01 DA048764 (Ertefaie)

NIDA awarded $1.57 million grant to Dr. Ertefaie to study the effect of partial treatment compliance in constructing individualized treatment strategies. The grant aims to

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R21AA027571 (Ertefaie)

NIAAA awarded $0.42 million grant to Dr. Ertefaie to develop individualized treatment strategies for controlling alcohol use. Our overarching aim is to address the need

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Featured Publications

Selected Publications

  • Sun, H., Lu, X., Ertefaie, A., Johnson, B. (2021) Improved Doubly Robust Estimation in Marginal Mean Models for Dynamic Regimes, Journal of Causal Inference, in press.
  • Yaeger, J. P., Jones, J., Ertefaie, A., Caserta, M. T., van Wijngaarden, E., & Fiscella, K. (2021) Using Clinical History Factors to Identify Bacterial Infections in Young Febrile Infants. The Journal of Pediatrics.
  • Dasgupta, N, Schwarz, J., Hennessy, S., Ertefaie, A., Dart, R. C. (2019) Causal inference for evaluating prescription opioid abuse using trend-in-trend design. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 28(5), 716-725.
  • Ertefaie, A., and Strawderman, R. L. (2018), Constructing dynamic treatment regimes over indefinite time horizons. Biometrika, 105(4), 963-977.
  • Ertefaie, A., Nguyen, A., Harding, D., Morenoff, J, and Yang, W. (2018), Instrumental Variable Analysis with Censored Data in the Presence of Many Weak Instruments: Application to the Effect of Being Sentenced to Prison on Time to Employment. Annals of Applied Statistics, 12(4), 2647-2673.
  • Artman, W. J.*, Nahum-Shani, I., Wu, T., Mckay, J. R., and Ertefaie, A. (2018). Power analysis in a SMART design: sample size estimation for determining the best embedded dynamic treatment regime. Biostatistics.
  • Ertefaie, A., Hsu, J., and Small, D. (2018), Discovering Treatment Effect Heterogeneity through Post-treatment Variables with Application to the Effect of Class Size on Math Scores. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C, 67(4), 917-938.
  • Ertefaie, A., Small, D. S., Ji, X., Leonard, C., and Hennessy, S. (2018). Statistical Power for Trend-in-trend Design. Epidemiology, 29(3), e21-e23.
  • Kaufman, E. J., Ertefaie, A., Small, D. S., Holena, D. N., and Delgado, M. K. (2018). Comparative Effectiveness of Initial Treatment at Trauma Center vs Neurosurgery-Capable Non-Trauma Center for Severe, Isolated Head Injury. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 226(5), 741-751.
  • Ertefaie, A., Small, D., and Rosenbaum, P. (2017), Quantitative Evaluation of the Trade-off of Strengthened Instruments and Sample Size in Observational Studies. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 113(523), 1122-1134.
  • Ertefaie, A., Asgharian, M. and Stephens, A. D. (2017), Variable Selection in Causal Inference using a Simultaneous Penalization Method. Journal of Causal Inference, 6(1).
  • Shortreed, S., and Ertefaie, A. (2017), Outcome-adaptive Lasso Variable Selection for Causal Inference. Biometrics, 73(4), 1111-1122.
  • Ertefaie, A., Flory, J. H., Hennessy, S., and Small, D. (2017), Instrumental Variable Methods for Continuous Outcomes that Accommodate Non-ignorable Missing Baseline Values. American Journal of Epidemiology, 185(12), 1233-1239.
  • Ertefaie, A., Small, D., Flory, J. H., and Hennessy, S. (2017) A Tutorial on the Use of Instrumental Variables in Pharmacoepidemiology. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 26(4), 357-367.
    Nahum-Shani, I., Ertefaie, A., Lu, X., Almirall, D., Lynch, K. G., McKay, J. R., and Oslin, D. (2017), A SMART Data Analysis Method for Constructing Adaptive Treatment Strategies in Substance Use Disorders. Addiction, 112(5), 901-909.


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