James R. Anderson Interview and Transcript

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Dr. James R. Anderson is recognized internationally for his work in cooperative clinical cancer research. Anderson received his PhD in biostatistics from the University of Washington in 1979, and had been at UNMC since 1989, as well as a member of the UNMC Institutional Review Board for more than 23 years. On December 1st, 2004, Anderson accepted an appointment as group statistician and director of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Statistics and Data Center, and was appointed chairman of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Initial Review Group Subcommittee on Clinical Groups in November of 2006. Dr. Anderson resigned from UNMC on March 1st, 2014 to become the director of the Madison, Wisconsin office of Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation, Inc.

Anderson starts his interview describing his upbringing in New York and how it influenced his interest in math and science. He describes his early career at the University of South Carolina and Harvard University working in oncology. He talks about the importance of statistics in clinical research. He remembers getting the invitation to grow quantitative sciences at UNMC (1988) where he later became the chair of the Department of Preventive and Societal Medicine. Anderson describes the importance of growing the department, eventually creating the Masters of Public Health program in partnership with UNO. Anderson continues by giving an overview of how biostatistics grew at UNMC. He covers areas of his career that he’s most proud: getting a grant for the Statistical Center for the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group, working with the lymphoma group and his time on the Institutional Review Board (IRB). He talks about his passion in the field of statistics giving examples of his success on a childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma study and a rhabdomyosarcoma study. He details the investment of UNMC in the growth of quantitative sciences to support clinical advancement through the Department of Preventive Societal Medicine’s evolution into the College of Public Health. Anderson ends his interview talking about the establishment of the Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) and his time as a small group facilitator in the program.

Subject(s): Institutional Review Board
College of Medicine
Anderson, James R.