ResearchOur PeopleMichael Leo

Michael C. Leo, PhD

Michael Leo, PhD, is a member of the Center for Health Research’s Biostatistics Core. He is a consulting biostatistician and co-investigator on projects that employ quasi-experimental, observational (longitudinal and cross-sectional), community-based participatory, and clinical trial-based (cluster and individually randomized) research designs. He is experienced in the application of a variety of statistical techniques, such as general and generalized linear models, structural equation modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, risk model development and validation, interrater agreement, psychometrics. and objective and subjective measurement development.

Dr. Leo is and served as a co-investigator on numerous studies at CHR, including pragmatic trials using stepped-wedge and cluster randomized designs to determine whether a multi-faceted program could improve colorectal cancer screening in a rural setting, whether a collaborative care model integrated within primary care could better treat patients with chronic pain, and how decision support using electronic health record tools can improve care plans for community health center patients. He has participated in randomized controlled trials on weight loss for obese pregnant women and low-income Hispanics, internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for treating depression, and the inclusion of a more accessible and relational form of genetic counseling and decision aid when using exome sequencing in a diverse population.

In addition, Dr. Leo has conducted observational and naturalistic experiments to examine how maternal pre-pregnancy weight loss is related to pregnancy weight gain, postpartum weight retention, and perinatal outcomes; to determine whether alternate treatment reimbursement for those tapering or going off opioid treatment results in less pain-related interference; and to validate risk prediction models for prostate and bladder cancer.

Dr. Leo was the principal investigator for the Cancer Health Assessments Reaching Many (CHARM) study and served on the steering committee. He is currently a biostatistician, and one of the directors, for the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. He was also part of a large multi-site trial that evaluated the effectiveness of xylitol for reducing caries and the data coordinating center for the Community Health Applied Research Network.

Before joining CHR, Dr. Leo was an assistant professor in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing’s Statistical Consulting Group, where he taught quantitative research design and analysis in the nursing PhD program. His research at OHSU included cancer-related studies encompassing chemotherapy treatment in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, clinical trials of exercise programs in breast and prostate cancer survivors, and other cancer treatment and prevention research. He was a co-investigator on studies in palliative care, fibromyalgia, depression, ADHD, worksite wellness interventions, and others.

Dr. Leo received his PhD from Portland State University in systems science in industrial and organizational psychology and quantitative methods. He earned his master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa, and a bachelor's degree in economics and psychology from Binghamton University.

Selected Current Studies

  • Exome Sequencing in Diverse Populations in Colorado & Oregon (NHGRI)—CHARM
  • COntextualized care in cHcs’ Electronic health Records (NIMHD)—COHERE
  • Predicting and Addressing Colonoscopy Non-Adherence in Community Settings (NCI)—PRECISE
  • Naturalistic Experiment Evaluating the Impact of Medicaid Treatment Reimbursement Changes on Opioid Prescribing and Patient Outcomes Among Patients with Low Back Pain (PCORI)—BACK ON TRACK
  • Screening More patients for CRC through Adapting and Refining Targeted Evidence-based Interventions in Rural settings (NCI)—SMARTER CRC
  • The impact of preconception maternal weight trajectories on maternal, pregnancy, and child outcomes (NICHD)—MATTRACK
  • National Dental Practice-Based Research Network: Coordinating Center (NIDCR)
  • Multi-Site Study of Molecular Markers in Relation to Risk of Recurrence after Breast-Conserving Surgery for DCIS (Prelude Corp.)

Selected Publications


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