Center News

Othus joins Hutchinson Center biostatisticians

Harvard graduate applies analytic skills to clinical trials

April 26, 2010
Dr. Megan Othus

Dr. Megan Othus Public Health Sciences Division

Dr. Megan Othus has joined the Public Health Sciences Division’s Biostatistics and Biomathematics group. She completed biostatistical doctoral studies at Harvard University last year.

Her collaborative research focuses on the design, conduct and analysis of cancer studies, specifically the Southwest Oncology Group’s phase 2 and phase 3 melanoma and leukemia clinical trials. Othus is also interested in developing statistical methods for correlated survival data. Correlated survival data arise in many types of biomedical research. For example, data from population-based studies can be geographically correlated or data from multi-center clinical trials can be correlated within an institution. 

“When I was in graduate school, I noticed that a huge percentage of the best articles and studies I read were produced at the Hutchinson Center,” Othus said of her desire to pursue work at the Center. “I find the environment here to be very stimulating and supportive for junior faculty. Of course, since I grew up in Portland, getting to leave the cold and snow of Boston to return to the Northwest was a great bonus.”

Dr. Michael LeBlanc, who works with Othus in SWOG and chaired the search committee for her position, said she was the top choice out of an outstanding set of faculty candidates. “She has a broad set of both methodological and applied interests, especially for a junior faculty member. For instance, Megan’s biostatistics methodological work on novel survival models will lead to improvements in how we analyze complex clinical trial data,” he said. “Our group knows we are indeed lucky to have her at the Center.” 

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.