September 26, 2013

Biostatistics Doctoral Graduate student, Michael J. Lopez, receives NIH Fellowship Award

The Department of Biostatistics and the School of Public Health are proud to announce that PhD student Michael J. Lopez has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein predoctoral fellowship by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his proposal Treatment Choice for Aging Population: Causal Inference with Multiple Treatments.  While basic statistics classes usually teach that correlation does not imply causation, Mike's research concentrates on devising methods that will allow inference of causation from observational studies. The $42,000 fellowship will fund Mike’s research to extend current statistical methodology to allow investigators to simultaneously compare several treatments. For example, whereas current insight into the effectiveness of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) on rheumatoid arthritis outcomes is mostly limited to separate comparisons of each drug versus a placebo, Mike's research will allow researchers to contrast three or more DMARDs simultaneously, in order to determine which the optimal treatment choice is. Mike’s mentor for this project is Roee Gutman, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics.

Mike Lopez received his BS in mathematics from Bates College and his MS in statistics from the University of Massachusetts.  He is a fourth-year student in the Biostatistics PhD Program and is expected to graduate in 2014.  Mike also is a trainee in Brown’s IMSD program; while at Brown, he has received the June Rockwell Levy Foundation Fellowship (awarded by the Division of Biology and Medicine) and a prestigious student paper award from the Health Policy Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association.