Nan Laird was appointed the new Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Public Health. This honor recognizes her more than 35 years developing statistical methodology, teaching, and doing applied research. Laird succeeds the first holder of the professorship, Howard Koh, who is now Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The professorship was established to honor former HSPH Dean Fineberg.
Laird currently is professor of biostatistics, a position she has held since 1986. She received her doctorate in statistics from Harvard University and joined the Faculty of Public Health as assistant professor in 1975. Laird was appointed chair of the Biostatistics Department in 1990 and led the department until 1999. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and a member of the International Statistical Institute.
Laird’s major research interest is the development of statistical methodology in four primary areas: statistical genetics, longitudinal studies, missing or incomplete data, and analysis of multiple informant data. She has worked extensively in the analysis of family based studies in genetics, and currently collaborates on genetic studies in schizophrenia, asthma and lung disease.