Using Statistics to Advance Health Knowledge
Few topics are more on the minds of Canadians than health and adequate access to high-quality health care. Policy-makers and physicians require sound information on everything from the incidence of disease to rates of disease progression when they allocate scarce healthcare dollars and determine which therapies should be made available to Canadians. Statisticians play a central role in providing this information.
Dr. Richard Cook, Canada Research Chair in Statistical Methods for Health Research, is collaborating with researchers around the world in such diverse areas as oncology, transfusion medicine, rheumatology and ophthalmology. His goal is to ensure that clinical and epidemiological studies are well designed and the resulting data are suitably analysed to provide valid conclusions about disease origin, progression and response to treatment.
Cook’s research aims to understand how markers of cancer activity may be used for long-term predictions of relapse or death and how these can be used to assess whether treatments are having the desired effect on the disease process. He also collaborates with health scientists studying optimal blood transfusion schedules and how best to store, test and deliver blood products to patients suffering from low platelet counts.