Lurdes Inoue appointed chair of Biostatistics

Monday, September 16, 2019

Lurdes Inoue, PhD, MS, has been appointed as the next Chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the University of Washington School of Public Health, effective Sept. 16.

A member of the SPH faculty since 2002, Inoue, a professor of biostatistics, is widely known in the field of Bayesian statistical research and as a co-author of a leading decision theory textbook. Her work has led to a better understanding of the risks of certain cancers. Inoue has served as associate chair of the department and director of its graduate program, and has led the School’s Curriculum and Education Policy Committee. She becomes the first woman to chair the department.

Lurdes Inoue portrait

“The Department of Biostatistics is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world, and Dr. Inoue plans to leverage that excellent reputation to continue attracting top students and scholars,” said Dean Hilary Godwin. “She has a deep understanding of the department’s rigorous curricula, culture of collaboration and dedication to research.”

Said Inoue: “I am truly honored by the opportunity to lead the department of biostatistics! It is also an exciting time for our field in the era of data science. With that in mind, I hope to strengthen the synergistic relationships among our faculty, students and staff – and to facilitate new opportunities with our partners at local institutions.”

Inoue takes over from Patrick Heagerty, who has served as chair since 2014.

“We are deeply grateful for Dr. Heagerty’s service and outstanding leadership, and look forward to the ongoing impact he will have as a faculty member,” Dean Godwin said. “Dr. Heagerty will continue to direct the Center for Biomedical Statistics, where he provides leadership in collaborative science to make new discoveries in the public health and medical fields.”

Heagerty added: “I have enjoyed the privilege of serving the department, school and university for the past five years. I am proud that we have expanded our educational offerings into core undergraduate public health, graduate data science, while also growing our research footprint in contemporary quantitative science. We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Inoue as our next chair, and she is known for exceptional skill, commitment and integrity.”  

Said Stephen Hawes, chair of the Department of Epidemiology, who led the internal search process, “Dr. Inoue is well respected for her leadership experience as Associate Chair and Graduate Program Director, and she is known for her hard work, organizational skills, and attention to administrative details. She was praised for her excellent scientific work and positive interactions with students. She is seen a team-builder.”

Born and raised in Brazil, Inoue graduated from Duke University in 1999, where she earned her PhD in statistics.  She worked as a post-doctoral researcher for the MD Anderson Cancer Research Center at the University of Texas before joining the UW. She is an adjunct professor in the School of Pharmacy and an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Among her many professional honors, she is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, an editor for the journal Bayesian Analysis and an elected member of the board of directors for the International Society for Bayesian Analysis.

Inoue is fully committed to enhancing the school and department community and will continue to champion equity, inclusion and engagement of underrepresented faculty and students.

Read an SPH profile of Lurdes from 2012.