International Prize in Statistics Awarded to Nan Laird for Methods of Analyzing Data from Longitudinal Studies
The 2021 International Prize in Statistics has been awarded to US biostatistician Nan Laird, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Biostatistics (Emerita) at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in recognition of her work on powerful methods that have made possible the analysis of complex longitudinal studies.
Thanks to Laird’s work, applied researchers have been able to wring detailed information from large studies that follow participants and collect their data over time—sometimes for many decades, such as with the Nurses’ Health Study in the US or the National Child Development Study in the UK. The design of these studies traditionally made it difficult for researchers to control for participants’ individual characteristics while also dealing with often-sparse data from hard-to-reach populations.