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James O’Malley Wins Award for Methodological Research

1 January 2021 No Comment
Joseph C. Cappelleri, Pfizer Inc.

    The ASA External Nominations and Awards Committee successfully nominated James O’Malley, professor of biomedical data science for The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, for the 2019 Award for Excellence in Methodology in Health Economics and Outcomes Research from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

    James O’Malley (Copyright 2017 Robert C. Strong II)

    O’Malley’s award-winning paper, published in Statistics in Medicine in 2019, investigated the relationship between individuals’ proximity to fast-food establishments and their body mass index (BMI). His research made an important advance in the statistical methodology for hierarchical models by allowing the latent or random effects of a neighborhood to have a bivariate impact on an individual’s BMI through both residential and workplace exposure.

    The Geisel School of Medicine, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, the department of biomedical data science, and the program in quantitative biomedical sciences all featured O’Malley winning the award in their news feeds or on their websites. When interviewed, O’Malley emphasized that the award is testimony to the increasingly important role statistics plays in society and how wonderful it is that the award reflected a contribution to statistical methodology. “Given today’s increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary research arena, it is very meaningful. And I think it depicts the profession of statistics in a very positive light.”

    In today’s world of ever-increasing quantitative sophistication and automation (e.g., artificial intelligence, neural networks, machine learning, deep learning), it is important to continue to encourage methodological research that identifies situations in which current approaches are not satisfactory and works toward overcoming the deficiencies to solve a problem to its fullest.

    Read more about O’Malley and the award on the Dartmouth website.

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