Biostatistician in Primary Care
University of Melbourne
I studied statistics and mathematics at university and graduated in 1991, and completed my Masters in Statistics in 1999. My first job was as a research assistant on a project to determine the cost-effectiveness of AIDS prevention strategies. I was responsible for the data management, analysis and reporting of the results. Soon after, this lead me to a research position within a paediatric hospital where my key role was to provide data management and statistical support to doctors and allied health professionals. Over 8 years, I worked across numerous and varied research projects, which included the data management of large vaccine clinical trials, survival analysis of children with heart problems, and assessment of the reliability of an instrument to measure motor function in children with neurological impairment.
Since 2001, I have provided statistical support and advice on research projects in Primary Health Care at the university. Recently, I was involved in a randomised controlled trial examining whether taking l actobacillus would prevent thrush after taking antibiotics. I was involved with the planning of the study, conducted the interim analyses, advised the chief researcher with the final analysis and contributed to the writing of a publication.
Studying statistics and maths has given me the opportunity to work as an applied statistician in medical research. Everything I learnt during my studies is applied in my day-to-day work. My degree has provided me with firm foundations to build up my statistical knowledge and develop a career in research. I am constantly learning and challenged in my work, and I enjoy consulting and interacting with other researchers. Furthermore, the skills and knowledge I developed over the years are transferable across any discipline, and not just medical research.