Statistical Leadership Lecture: March 18

Lisa M. LaVange, PhD, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Biostatistics, UNC

Lisa M. LaVange, PhD, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Biostatistics, UNC

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019, 4 – 5:30 PM 

Location: David Braley Cardiac, Vascular and Stroke Research Institute (DBCVSRI) Auditorium, 30 Copeland Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Special reception to follow in the DBCVSRI Atrium.

Speaker: Professor Lisa LaVange, PhD, Associate Chair, Department of Biostatistics, the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)

Topic: Statistical Leadership in Academia, Industry, and Government: Case Studies in Advancing Science and Positively Impacting Public Health

Statistics has long been acknowledged for the critical role it plays in clinical and epidemiological research. Statisticians traditionally contribute to the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting to ensure a study’s success in addressing its objectives. The changing research landscape reflects a greater need to understand and process large, complex datasets from sources of varying quality. Statisticians have an important leadership role to play, as a result, to ensure a study’s findings are based on valid inference and are reproducible. Our training must also adapt to better equip statisticians to meet future research challenges; only then will the reward of having a positive impact on public health be realized.

Lisa LaVange is also director of the department’s Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center (CSCC), overseeing faculty, staff, and students involved in large-scale clinical trials and epidemiological studies coordinated by the center. From 2011 to 2017, Dr. LaVange was director of the Office of Biostatistics in the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). There, she oversaw more than 200 statisticians and other staff members involved in the development and application of statistical methodology for drug regulation. She was a leader in developing and assessing the effectiveness and appropriateness of innovative statistical methods intended to accelerate the process from drug discovery to clinical trials to FDA approval and patients’ benefit, with a particular focus on rare diseases. Prior to her government and academic experience, she spent 16 years in non-profit research and 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry. She is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and is the 2018 ASA President.

This lectureship honours the late Janice Pogue, an exceptional statistician who created the statistical group at the Population Health Research Institute where she worked for 22 years. [Read the PHRI-authored Janice Pogue obituary in Clinical Trials.]

For more information, contact