Magnuson Health Sciences Center
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98105
My training in statistics resulted in initial opportunities to work in applications of biostatistics in a variety of areas, including pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and sexually transmitted diseases. Eventually a funding opportunity arose to spend a significant amount of my time working in applications in oral health research in the School of Dentistry. While applications in dentistry at first glance may seem routine, there are many unique statistical issues that arise from the collection of data from multiple sites around multiple teeth in the same patient, often over time, that contain unique information that should not merely be collapsed into patient averages. This leads to challenges for handling multilevel, correlated data. Conducting clinical trials involving practice-based networks of practicing dentists whose patients are enrolled provide challenges to use statistical design methods such as cluster randomization to address the unique issues that arise. The recognition of such statistical challenges in oral health research convinced me that there were significant contributions to be made to the field by biostatisticians, which in turn led me to assume leadership roles in academic dentistry such as Associate Dean for Research and Interim Dean, and in oral health research which led to serving as President of the American Association for Dental Research. The experience in the field that has been perhaps most satisfying has been the creation of a unique Summer Institute in Clinical Dental Research Methods, an intensive six-week interdisciplinary program in research methods designed for dental faculty working clinical areas that has now been offered for 25 years and attracted more than 500 faculty from 30 U.S. states and 44 foreign countries. As a consequence, I now focus on research training in global oral health.