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New Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Created; Dr. Madhu Mazumdar Appointed Division Chief

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Dr. Madhu Mazumdar
The Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center has created a new Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, appointing Dr. Madhu Mazumdar, a biostatistician at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as chief. Dr. Mazumdar has also been named associate professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College and associate attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

"Biostatistics and epidemiology – the study of the patterns and causes of health and disease – play an important role in public-health research, from planning and evaluating the design of research studies to developing new analytical methods and drawing valid conclusions from statistical results," said Dr. Alvin Mushlin, chairman of the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and public health physician-in-chief at NewYork Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. "Dr. Madhu Mazumdar is uniquely qualified to lead this important new Division."

The new Division will support and encourage clinical and laboratory research, population-based health behavior research, and research in the field of computational biomedicine. Statisticians in the division, which includes the Biostatistics and Research Methodology CORE, will assist with design and analysis of research studies, and develop and participate in introductory and advanced quantitative methodology courses. Additionally, faculty will carry out methodological research on statistical and epidemiological methods.

"The Division will be a resource for the entire scientific community at Weill Cornell and beyond. Working closely with researchers in other disciplines, we will help formulate innovative research hypotheses, provide proper study design, and analyze research with cutting-edge data analysis methods," said Dr. Mazumdar. "I seek to create a model of quantitative collaboration where the statistician/epidemiologist works closely with clinical researchers as part of a research team thereby benefiting the clinical project as well as improving the quantitative methodology."

Dr. Mazumdar's current research interests are in the areas of optimization of therapeutic response evaluation criteria, development of group sequential design (GSD) for comparative diagnostic accuracy studies, assessment of quality of life and economic consequences of cancer treatment for long-term survivors, and approaches to design and analysis of matched data in the censored setting.

At Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Mazumdar performed research on methods of finding optimal "cutpoints" to answer clinical questions of identification of high-risk testicular cancer patients who need additional surgery for resecting a residual mass. She developed a standardization method for adjusting the effect of patient selection in phase II clinical trials for bladder cancer, to interpret the value of a phase II study in the context of historical controls, to rank outcomes of various phase II studies, and to aid in the decision-making process of whether to progress to a randomized phase III trial.

Photo by Weill Cornell Art & Photo.

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