Dr. Francesca Dominici receives Janet L. Norwood Award for Outstanding Achievement in Statistical Sciences

 

Francesca Dominici, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics, Senior Associate Dean for Research, and Associate Dean of Information Technology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, has been honored with the Janet L. Norwood Award, presented by the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Named for the first female commissioner of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and past-president of the American Statistical Association, this annual award internationally recognizes a woman statistician for outstanding achievement in the statistical sciences. Dr. Dominici will accept the award and deliver a special lecture on Wednesday, September 14, at UAB’s Edge of Chaos.

In her role as Senior Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Dominici leads the Office of Research Strategy and Development (ORSD) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. ORSD provides catalytic and strategic support for the school’s research. She also leads the faculty short course on grant writing. In her role of Associate Dean of Information Technology, Dr. Dominici has also headed new initiatives to improve the university’s research computing infrastructure, namely working closely with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) to afford faculty, researchers, staff, and students from the Chan School access to Odyssey, Harvard’s largest supercomputer, which spans a total of 9,641 square feet. The research computing landscape at the Chan School has since been transformed, allowing faculty to conduct Big Data–driven research that pushes the frontiers of science. 

Dr. Dominici’s research focuses on the development of statistical methods for the analysis of large and complex data. Dr. Dominici is interested in developing new methods in Bayesian causal inference to overcome the challenges inherent in the analysis of large and complex observational studies, such as claims data, electronic medical records, and cancer registry.   She is a passionate data scientist. She leads several interdisciplinary groups of scientists with the ultimate goal of addressing important questions in environmental health science, climate change, comparative effectiveness research in cancer, and health policy. Dr. Dominici also develops Bayesian methods in causal inference for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER.) She applies these methods to administrative data to address key CER questions in the treatment of Glioblastoma and other cancers.

In recent years, Dr. Dominici and her team have been acquiring and analyzing billions of claims data from the Center for Medicare Services. These claims data provide information on cause-specific hospitalization for nearly the entire population of 65-year-olds enrolled in the Medicare system over the last 20 years. She links daily claims data to daily air pollution levels from thousands of monitoring stations by geographical location. Rigorous statistical analyses of terabytes of data have provided robust evidence on the adverse health effects of air pollution and climate change. Her studies have directly and routinely impacted air quality policy and led to more stringent ambient air quality standards in the United States.

Prior to joining Harvard, Dr. Dominici was a professor in the Department of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

As part of her career-long commitment to promoting diversity in academia, Dr. Dominici currently chairs the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Committee on the Advancement of Women Faculty (CAWF) and previously co-chaired the University Committee on the Status of Women at Johns Hopkins University (where she was honored with the Johns Hopkins Diversity Recognition Award). She was recognized by the multinational mass media and information firm Thomson Reuters in their 2015 list of the most highly cited researchers, which ranked her in the top one percent of scientists in her field; additionally, Dr. Dominici has been named one of the top 10 Italian women scientists who have had the largest impact in biomedical sciences across the world. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. She has participated as a member of several committees of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine Committee, and she is a member of the NIH Biostatistical Methods and Research Design Study Section. In addition, Dr. Dominici has served as associate editor of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society and as editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In bestowing the Janet L. Norwood Award to Dr. Dominici, UAB’s School of Public Health wishes to recognize not only her achievements but also to acknowledge the accomplishments of all women to the statistical sciences.