Jingwei Wu, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is one of four researchers nationwide to be asked to join the 2022 Mentored Biostatistics Faculty Program in Aging and Mental Health at the Advanced Research Institute (ARI).
Through online meetings and a multiday live event in April, Wu will receive training and guidance from senior biostatisticians and ARI fellows who have experience applying their skills to the field of gerontology. ARI is a national program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that provides career mentoring and grant-writing guidance to early-career investigators conducting research related to mental health and aging.
Wu’s “accomplishments and potential to foster biostatistical collaborations with geriatric mental health research investigators” stood out to the ARI selection committee. He has collaborated with researchers across the spectrum of health and says he is eager to build greater expertise in statistical methods for gerontology.
“I am interested in the prevention and treatment of adverse health problems in elderly populations, such as cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease,” Wu says.
Biostatisticians don’t only calculate the numbers that can represent the core findings of research studies. They also help create grant proposals and advise on the statistical design of studies to help researchers uncover meaningful results.
“I do not view myself as just a statistical ‘helper’ in collaborative research. I contribute research ideas and work with medical and clinical investigators to find real solutions to the research question,” Wu says. “Each study will have its unique statistical approach. So I’m eager to learn what kind of statistical approach I may bring into aging research. It may be similar to something else. Or maybe there’s something new.”