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Sung Duk Kim Receives 2023 SPAIG Award

, by Elise Tookmanian, Ph.D.

Sung Duk Kim, Ph.D., staff scientist in the Biostatistics Branch, and collaborators at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Merck, received the 2023 Statistical Partnerships Among Academe, Industry & Government (SPAIG) award for the "depth, breadth, and statistical rigor of their collaboration and its impact on the conduct of clinical trials.” The award, which recognizes outstanding partnerships between academe, industry, and government organizations that make great contributions to the field of statistics with applications to real-world problems, will be given on August 8th at the American Statistical Meeting. 

Over the past 14 years, the UNC, Merck, NCI partnership has been conducting studies in clinical trials and outcomes research. Their aim is to improve efficiency of drug development through better trial designs, operations, and results so that safe and effective medicines reach more people faster. Through the partnership, the colleagues developed innovative methods for multivariate and network meta-regression models based on datasets from cardiovascular clinical trials conducted by Merck and other pharmaceutical companies documented in over 18 publications in top statistical journals, including Biometrics, Biostatistics, and Journal of the American Statistical Associations and an R package for public access to the methods. In addition, the partnership has resulted in numerous student dissertations, publications, seminars, and courses.

The SPAIG award was established in 2002 to recognize outstanding partnerships and promote new ones among these organizations. These collaborations must include least two organizations from academe, industry, or government and have resulted in significant contributions to the statistical field with applications to real-world problems.