In biostatistics, complexity rules

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When it comes to statistical analysis, “context matters,” according to Jesse Berlin. “Different people look at the same data and come to different conclusions.”

This was one of the issues discussed by Berlin, ScD ’88, in a talk about challenges he’s encountered as a biostatistician on October 31, 2013 in FXB-G13 at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Berlin was on campus to receive the Lagakos Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes biostatistics alumni whose research in statistical theory and application, leadership in biomedical research, and commitment to teaching have had a major impact on the theory and practice of statistical science. The award was established to honor the career of Stephen Lagakos, an international leader in biostatistics and AIDS research, and former HSPH professor of biostatistics and chair of the department, who died in a car accident in 2009.

Berlin has worked in both academia and in industry. He served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania for 15 years, became senior director of statistical science at Johnson & Johnson in 2004, and now is vice president of epidemiology at Janssen Research & Development, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.