Zoran Bursac

Professor and Chair


Office: AHC5-463

Phone: 305-348-1811

Email: zbursac@fiu.edu


Longitudinal Data Methods, Analysis with Missing Data, Models for Discrete Data


Dr. Zoran Bursac obtained a PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in 2003. Dr. Bursac’s first academic appointment as an Assistant Professor was at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in 2003. Dr. Bursac spent eleven years at UAMS and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008. Dr. Bursac received his appointment at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) as a Professor in Preventive Medicine, and Associate Director and Senior Statistical Scientist in the Center for Population Sciences. Currently, Dr. Bursac is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Biostatistics and Director of the Biostatistics Consulting Service Center at the Stempel College of Public Health, at Florida International University.

During his career, Dr. Bursac has worked on over 40 grants with a total value of over $75,000,000. Dr. Bursac has authored/co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in various areas of public health, preventive and clinical medicine, and biostatistics. These publications have been cited approximately 4000 times.

Dr. Bursac has been a director and instructor for numerous graduate-level courses and has
mentored over 60 graduate students, as well as a number of junior faculty.

He serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine and provides continuing grant review services to PCORI and NASA. Dr. Bursac is an active member of the American Statistical Association, and SAS Users Group.

His goal is to continue these activities collaboratively with Stempel College faculty, staff and administration by continuing to support departmental, college and university research projects, participating and leading efforts with other faculty within and outside of the department in the faculty and staff growth, improving visibility and biostatistics consulting services campus-wide, mentoring junior and mid-career faculty as well as staff, streamlining teaching efforts, recruiting more students to the biostatistics MPH concentration, and developing a PhD program in biostatistics.


Biostatistics Consulting Service Center. Our faculty, staff and graduate assistants offer consulting services regarding research design, sample size estimation and analysis for pilot studies, grant proposals and manuscripts. This is open to FIU faculty, postdocs, students and residents as well as institutions and agencies outside of FIU.


  • Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City, OK, Biostatistics
  • M.P.H., University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City, OK, Biostatistics
  • B.S., Cameron University, Lawton, OK, Computer Science/Mathematics


Selected publications from over 100

Derefinko KJ,   Bursac Z, Mejia MG, Milich R, Lynam DR. Effects of the Transition to College on Rural and Urban Substance Use Trends. (2018). Am J Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 44(2):224-234.

Bursac Z, Klesges RC, Little MA, Linde B, Popova L, Talcott GW. (2018). The Comparative Effectiveness of Two Brief Tobacco Interventions in the U.S. Air Force: Perceived Harm and Intentions to Use Tobacco Products. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 16:1-10.

Salgado Garcia FI, Derefinko KJ,   Bursac Z, Hand S, Klesges RC. (2018). Planning a Change Easily (PACE): A Randomized Controlled Trial of Smokers Who are Not Ready to Quit. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 68: 14-22.

Singh KP,   Bursac Z, Eby WM, Tabatabai MA. (2017). Innovative Models for Analysis of Survival Data. Research Reports, 1(1):e1-e5.

Little MA, Ebbert JO,  Bursac Z , Talcott GW, Colvin LW, LeRoy KM, Womack CR, Hrysko-Mullen AS, Klesges RC. (2017). Enhancing the Efficacy of a Smoking Quit Line in the Military: Study rationale, design and methods of the Freedom Quit Line. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 59:51-56.

Popova L, Linde BD,   Bursac Z, Talcott WG, Modayil MV, Little MA, Ling PM, Glantz SL, Klesges RC. (2016). Testing Anti-smoking Messages for Air Force Trainees. Tobacco Control, 25(6):656-663.

Little MA,   Bursac Z, Derefinko KJ, Ebbert JO, Talcott GW, Hrysko-Mullen A, Klesges RC. (2016). Types of Dual and Poly Tobacco Users in the United States Military. American Journal of Epidemiology, 184(3):211-218.

Derefinko KJ, Klesges RC,   Bursac Z, Little MA, Hryshko-Mullen A, Talcott GW. (2016). Alcohol Issues Prior to Training in the United States Air Force. Addictive Behaviors, 18(58):142-48.

Little MA, Talcott GW,   Bursac Z, Linde BD, Pagano LA, Messler EC, Ebbert JO, Klesges RC. (2016). Efficacy of a Brief Tobacco Intervention for Tobacco and Nicotine Containing Products in the United States Air Force. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 18(5): 1142-9.

Krukowski RA,   Bursac Z, Little MA, Klesges RC. (2016). The Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Postcessation Weight Gain in the Year After Quitting Smoking: A Cross Sectional Study. PLoS ONE, 11(3): 1-12. (e0151290)

Little MA, Klesges RC,   Bursac Z, Colvin L, Ebbert J, Talcott W, Richey P. (2016). Prevalence and Correlates of Tobacco and Nicotine Containing Products Use in a Sample of United States Air Force Trainees. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 18(4):416-23.

Little MA, Derefinko K, Talley L, Ebbert JO,   Bursac Z, Talcott W, Richey P, Klesges RC. (2015). The Prevalence of E-cigarettes in a Sample of US Air Force Trainees. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49(3): 402-408.

Kim KH, Cornell C, Prewitt ET,   Bursac Z, Tilford M, Turner J, Eddings K, Love S, Whittington E, Harris K. (2015). The WORD (Wholeness, Oneness, Righteousness, Deliverance): Design of an evidence-based weight loss and maintenance intervention translated for a faith-based, rural, African American population using a community-based participatory approach. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 40:63-73.

Williams DK and   Bursac Z. (2014). Three Algorithms and SAS Macros for Estimating Power and Sample Size for Logistic Models with One or More Independent Variables of Interest in the Presence of Covariates. Source Code in Biology and Medicine, 9(24).

Krukowski RA,   Bursac Z, McGehee MA, West DS. (2013). Exploring Potential Health Disparities in Excessive Gestational Weight Gain. Journal of Women’s Health, 22(6):494-500.

Beck C, Fausett JK, Krukowski RA, Cornell CE, Prewitt TE, Lensing S,   Bursac Z, Felix H, Love S, McDougall G, West DS. (2013). A Randomized Trial of a Community-based Cognitive Intervention for Obese Senior Adults. Journal of Health and Aging, 25(1): 97-118.

Tabatabai MA, Eby WM,   Bursac Z. (2012). Oscillobolastic Model, a New Model for Oscillatory Dynamics, Applied to the Analysis of Hes1 Gene Expression and Ehrlich Ascites Tumor Growth. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 45(3):401-7.

West DS,   Bursac Z, Cornell CE, Felix HC, Fausett JK, Krukowski RA, Lensing S, Love S, Prewitt ET, Beck C. (2011). Lay Health Educators Translate a Weight Loss Intervention in Senior Centers: A Randomized Control Trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 41(4):385-391.

White D,   Bursac Z, DiLillo V, West DS. (2011). Weight Loss Goals Among African American Women with Type 2 Diabetes in a Behavioral Weight Control Program. Obesity, 19(11):2283-2285.

Tabatabai M,   Bursac Z, Eby WM, Singh KP. (2011). Mathematical Modeling of Stem Cell Proliferation. Medical and Biological Engineering and Computation, 49(3): 253 – 262.

Eby WM, Tabatabai M,   Bursac Z. (2010). Hyperbolastic Modeling of Tumor Growth with a Combined Treatment of Iodoacetate and Dimethylsulphoxide. BMC Cancer, 10(509).

Sheffer CE, Stitzer M, Brandon T,   Bursac Z. (2010). Effectiveness of Adding Relapse Prevention Materials to Telephone Counseling. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 39(1): 71-77.

Phillips MM, Raczynski JM, West DS, Pulley L,   Bursac Z, Gauss CH, Walker J. (2010). Changes in School Environment With Implementation of Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003. Obesity, 18(S1): S54-S61.

Krukowski RA, West DS, Philyaw-Perez A,   Bursac Z, Phillips MM, Raczynski JM. (2009). Overweight Children, Weight Based Teasing and Academic Performance. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 4(4): 274-280.

Bursac Z, Gauss CH, Williams DK, Hosmer DW. (2008). Purposeful Selection of Variables in Logistic Regression. Source Code for Biology and Medicine, 3(17).

Krukowski RA, West DS, Siddiqui NJ,  Bursac Z , Phillips MM, Raczynski JM. (2008). Weight Based Teasing Does Not Increase When BMI Screening for Childhood Obesity is Conducted in Schools. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162(10): 936-942. (RWJ Top 10 Policy Paper of the Year)

West DS, Prewitt TE,   Bursac Z, Felix H. (2008). Weight Loss Experiences of Black, White and Hispanic Men and Women in Diabetes Prevention Program. Obesity, 16(6): 1413-20.

Budney AJ, Vandrey RG, Hughes JR, Thostenson JD,   Bursac Z. (2008). A Comparison of Cannabis and Tobacco Withdrawal: Severity and Contribution to Relapse. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 35(4): 362-368.

West DS, Raczynski JM, Phillips MM,   Bursac Z, Gauss CH, Montgomery BE. (2008). Parental Recognition of Overweight among School-Age Children. Obesity, 16(3): 630-636.

Tabatabai MA,   Bursac Z, Williams DK, Singh KP. (2007). Hypertabastic Survival Model. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling, 4(40): 1-13.

West DS, DiLillo V,   Bursac Z, Gore S, Green P. (2007). Motivational Interviewing Enhances Outcomes of Behavioral Obesity Treatment for Overweight Women with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 30(5): 1081-1087.

West DS,   Bursac Z, Quimby D, Prewitt E, Spatz T, Nash C, Mays G, Eddings K. (2006). Self-Reported Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among College Students. Obesity, 14(10):1825-1831.

Tabatabai M, Williams DK,   Bursac Z. (2005). Hyperbolastic Growth Models: Theory and Application. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling, 2(14):1-13.

Bursac Z, Campbell JE. (2003). From Risky Behaviors to Chronic Outcomes: Current Status and Healthy People 2010 goals for American Indians in Oklahoma. Journal of Oklahoma State Medical Association, 96(12): 569-573.

Bursac Z, Campbell JE. (2002). Prevalence of Current Cigarette Smoking Among American Indians in Oklahoma: A Comparison. Journal of Oklahoma State Medical Association, 95(3):155-158.