Daniel Stram, PhD, MPH, of the Keck School of Medicine of USC has become a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nonprofit announced this month.

Stram, a preventive medicine professor in USC’s Division of Biostatistics and Genetic Epidemiology, said he was pleasantly surprised to be named a fellow. He has been a member of AAAS for 25 years.

“They listed a lot of different fields that I contributed to,” Stram said. “I’ve tried to solve statistical problems in many areas. It’s gratifying to see that the sum total of the work was being honored.”

AAAS gave 347 members fellow status in 2015. They were given the honor because of their efforts to advance science or its applications. Stram was selected “for development and application of innovative statistical procedures for laboratory, clinical and field studies, and for signature collaborations in genomics, cancer treatment and radiation effects.”

The AAAS fellows tradition began in 1874. AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society, is publisher of the journal Science, which has an estimated total readership of 1 million, making it the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world.

Stram spent three years in Hiroshima in the late 1980s to work on a health follow-up study of atomic bomb survivors. In that study, he developed risk estimation methods by looking at measurement error in radiation dose estimates. This led to his longstanding interest in the statistical treatment of uncertainty in risk analysis.

“I’m interested in making statistical decisions in the presence of uncertainty in exposures for different diseases,” Stram said. “If those exposures are not perfectly measured, then we have an exposure measurement problem. I help address those problems.”

Currently, Stram is participating in a long-term study of the occupational and environmental health effects of exposure to plutonium production radiation originating from Russia’s Cold War era. He hopes to inform people about cancer risk when radiation exposure rates are extended over a prolonged period of time. Stram is a primary contributor to many USC-based epidemiologic and genomics studies, most notably those centered on the Multiethnic Cohort Study, a collaboration between USC and the University of Hawaii.

New fellows will receive an official certificate and gold and blue rosette pin on Feb. 13 at the annual AAAS meeting in Washington, D.C.

— Zen Vuong