Brahmar Mukherjee Celebrated at the Marvin Zelen Leadership Award in Statistical Science

Marvin Zelen Leadership Award with Xihong Lin and Brahmar Mukherjee

On Thursday, May 9th,  around 60 members of the Biostatistics community gathered to celebrate the presentation of the Marvin Zelen Leadership Award to Bhramar Mukherjee.

Currently the John D. Kalbfleisch Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics, Chair of the Biostatistics Department, and Assistant Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan,  Dr. Mukherjee is one of the foremost statisticians working in key areas of statistical genetics and genetic epidemiology, with an expansive body of work that has helped to define the methodological landscape in statistical genetics.

For the ceremony, Dr. Mukherjee was introduced by Xihong Lin.  She then gave a talk titled “Unveiling Bias: A Statistician’s Quest for Data Equity in Health Research”, in which she delved into the crucial concept of data equity and highlighted how algorithms developed with exclusionary datasets yield erroneous conclusions and exacerbate health disparities.

Drawing examples from her own work, including analyses of COVID-19 and biobanks linked with electronic health records, she talked about instances where timely statistical analysis with imperfect data resulted in enhanced inference and influenced policy outcomes. She also urged statisticians to follow the legacy of Professor Marvin Zelen by proactively leading efforts in curating and collecting new data.

She concluded her talk by asserting the important role of statisticians in moving beyond design and analysis, to “assert their independent leadership in shaping the trajectory of research and policymaking driven by data.”