Kidwell: 2020 Delta Omega Initiate


Kelley Kidwell is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics. She earned her PhD in biostatistics at Pitt Public Health in 2012. It was in graduate school that she found her passion for clinical trial design and analysis by working on her dissertation with Abdus Wahed and through her graduate student assistantship at the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project.

Kidwell has continued to pursue statistical development in clinical trial design and analysis and collaborates with investigators across a wide variety of disease areas. She received a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Initiative award in 2016 to develop statistical methodology for novel trial design in rare diseases or more broadly, small samples. She was just awarded an FDA contract to continue to work in this area. Collaboratively, she has designed many trials and has been co-investigator on over 30 NIH or industry sponsored grants. She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in both statistical and medical journals. Beyond research, Kelley enjoys teaching biostatistics to non-biostatisticians and mentoring students.

How did Kidwell's time at Pitt Public Health influence her career? "Pitt Public Health, the Department of Biostatistics especially, gave me the tools to succeed in an academic position. I am very grateful for my advisor and continued mentor, Abdus Wahed, who was an excellent teacher and provided an example to aspire to in developing statistical theory rooted in application. I also had a wonderful experience in my research assistantship at the NSABP, now NRG, with Joe Costantino. There I was able to see the power of clinical trial design and analysis for breast and bowel cancer firsthand. Finally, Sally Morton, chair of biostatistics at that time, was an excellent mentor in terms of leadership and seeing a woman excel in the field. I look forward to seeing these mentors and catching up with them at conferences each year."

Her favorite part of her job: "I love so many aspects about my job: it is dynamic such that I am working with different individuals in different areas all the time, it is flexible so that I can balance my family and my career, and I have the opportunity to teach and mentor students to pass on my enthusiasm for biostatistics to others."


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