HIC 2009 Keynote Speakers

Dr Louise Ryan: Leading CSIRO's mathematical sciences research

Dr Louise Ryan took up her post as Chief of CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences in February 2009, after many years at Harvard University in the USA.

Dr Louise Ryan, an Australian, has a distinguished career in biostatistics, a field of science which develops new statistical methods for health and medicine, biology and environmental sciences.

At CSIRO, she is leading a group of 150 people in mathematical and statistical research areas as diverse as financial risk, climate change and cell biology. This research is allowing CSIRO to better address national challenges.

Current activities
Dr Ryan is well known for her contributions to statistical methods for cancer and environmental health researchDr Ryan is well known for her contributions to statistical methods for cancer and environmental health research.

At CSIRO, she manages a portfolio of mathematical sciences research projects in areas as diverse as:

light metal production
environmental modelling
financial risk
transport logistics

This research contributes to CSIRO's goal of addressing Australia's national challenges.

Her own statistical research focuses on developing computationally efficient approaches to the spatio-temporal analysis of large health databases.

Dr Ryan is currently a council member for the International Biometric Society.

Dr Ryan was born and grew up in Australia but spent almost thirty years in the USA, where she most recently held the post of Henry Pickering Walcott Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard University.

She joined CSIRO in 2009.

Prior to becoming Department Chair at Harvard, Dr Ryan served as Director of the Program in Environmental Statistics within the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard.

Dr Ryan has worked in the area of cancer clinical trials, and preclinical studies of carcinogenicity and teratology. Her more recent work has focused on statistical methods for analysing observational data, especially in the context of environmental health studies.

She has been actively involved in a number of high profile projects with the National Academy of Sciences in USA, including assessing the environmental risks associated with exposure to arsenic in drinking water - a major problem in some developing countries.

Dr Ryan is an experienced administrator in the university sector. As Department Chair in Biostatistics at Harvard, she was responsible for a large group comprising faculty members, visiting academics, masters and doctoral students, researchers and postdoctoral fellows, and other staff members.

She has led major projects funded by USA agencies like the:

Dr Ryan has been a passionate advocate for diversity in higher education and was the founding director of a program for the training of minority students at Harvard.

Dr Ryan has authored or co-authored over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Ryan has obtained a:

Dr Ryan has been recognised with a number of professional awards and achievements including:

Member of the Institute of Medicine
Fellow of the American Statistical Association
Fellow of the International Statistics Institute
the Spiegelman Award, conferred by the American Public Health Association
Distinguished Achievement Award of the Environmetrics Section of the American Statistical Association.

She has served as:

Dr Ryan has received several awards recognising her contributions as a mentor to women and minority students, including: