UIC BIOSTATISTICIAN ELECTED TO INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE
Robert Gibbons, director of the Center for Health Statistics and professor of psychiatry and biostatistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been elected a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine in recognition of his professional achievements and of demonstrated interest, concern and involvement with critical issues affecting the health of the public.
Part of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine advances and disseminates scientific knowledge to improve human health. Its authoritative reports, on issues ranging from drug trials to deficiencies in the training of health professionals, provide objective information and advice concerning health and science policy to government, the corporate sector, the professions and the public.
Gibbons' research has covered a variety of subjects, from the development of environmental statistics that are used to protect our natural resources to evaluations of health services for primary pediatric care. Applications of his work are widespread in the areas of health and environmental sciences. Perhaps most notable is his work on the equitable allocation of donor organs for transplantation. Commissioned by Congress through the National Academy of Sciences, his study changed the way donor organs are allocated nationally.
Gibbons, who is currently serving on the institute's Health Sciences Policy Board, said he was honored to be elected a member.
"My experiences in working with members of the institute on issues such as the safety and efficacy of drugs, the merits of doing clinical trials in space and the equity of our nation's transplant system have been among the most positive of my scientific career," Gibbons said. "As an IOM member, I hope to continue this work for years to come and to help foster the role of quantitative thinking in medical science and policy."
"This age of information is a unique and wonderful time to be a statistician." Gibbons added.
"Gibbons is one of the finest thinkers and analysts I have seen anywhere," said Dr. Joseph Flaherty, professor and head of psychiatry at UIC. "His contributions in science have great depth and breadth. Among his many achievements is a statistical model for interpreting large volumes of longitudinal psychological data, which is now the standard in this kind of research."
Gibbons joined the UIC faculty after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1981. He has received numerous grants for his research from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. Gibbons has authored three books and more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
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