Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Center Leadership
Amy Praestgaard, Managing Director(Statistics), University of Washington, 1988
Ms. Praestgaard, who is generally the first point of contact for investigators initiating requests for biostatistical or epidemiological support, supervises daily operations for the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Center (BECC).
Ms. Praestgaard joined the BECC in January 2007, bringing with her more than sixteen years experience as a consulting statistician and manager. Her applied statistics experience is diverse, and her management experience includes leading the biostatistics group at the College of American Pathologists and managing a fraud analytics department at Citigroup. Ms. Praestgaard's pre-Penn accomplishments include developing a patented methodology to cluster pathology laboratories according to test volume and complexity and saving a credit card portfolio more than $10 million per year by implementing statistically derived fraud rules. As BECC Managing Director, Ms. Praestgaard, along with the BECC Faculty Director and Associate Director, is responsible for ensuring that the unit operates as efficiently as possible, consistently delivers high quality and timely results, and is strategically poised to meet the evolving demands of the research community.
John T. Farrar, Faculty DirectorMD, University of Rochester, 1981; MSCE 2000, PhD 2004 University of Pennsylvania
Dr. John Farrar is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology within the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Senior Scholar, CCEB. Dr. Farrar earned a BS in Biology (magna cum laude) with an additional concentration in Computer Science from Brown University in 1976. He received his MD from the University of Rochester, completed a Neurology Residency at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and a fellowship in Pain Management at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 1991 he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Neurology, with a primary interest in pain management, especially in cancer patients. Dr. Farrar serves as the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's (HUP) Vice-Chair of the Drug Use and Effects Subcommittee, Chair of the Pain Management Subcommittee of HUP's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, a member of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, and Chair of the Cancer Center's Pain Management Program Committee on Clinical Research. Dr. Farrar's major activity is clinical research in pharmacoepidemiology and the management of pain, especially in cancer patients. He is currently principal investigator on a number of grants to carry out clinical trials of new pain therapy and to improve the methodology for pain outcomes measurement (including quality of life) and analysis. He has collaborated in the development of a multi-disciplinary program for the evaluation and treatment of cancer patients with pain and has a clinical practice that focuses on all aspects of pain therapy. When projects require specialized study design expertise, Dr. Farrar will arrange for assistance, which will generally come from other faculty in Epidemiology.
Warren B. Bilker, Faculty DirectorPhD (Biostatistics), Johns Hopkins University, 1992; MS (Statistics), Temple University, 1984
Dr. Warren Bilker is Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and the Department of Psychiatry and is a Senior Scholar in the CCEB. Dr. Bilker earned a BA is Mathematics (1982) and an MS in Statistics (1984) from Temple University. He received his PhD in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 in the Department of Medicine as part of the Clinical Epidemiology Unit, prior to the creation of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and the CCEB. He moved to the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology when it was created in 1995. His primary research interests are pharmacoepidemiologic methods, psychiatric methodology, statistical methods for correlated correlations, survival analysis for censored and truncated data, and brain image analysis. Dr. Bilker is currently principal investigator of the biostatistics and data core for the Schizophrenia Center, which studies the neurobiology of stimulus encoding in schizophrenia. He has served on multiple FDA advisory panels and Data Safety Monitoring Committees for academia and industry. He is an associate editor for the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. Dr. Bilker teaches a Fall course on Statistical Computing within the Biostatistics PhD program.