#019 – Biostatistics & Informatics – Part 1 – Prof. Levi Waldron

About This Episode

The world of biological and medical research is complex, and there are many contributors in the efforts to find more effective treatments and potential cures for disease. One group of those contributors has an increasingly important role in identifying these discoveries, and yet their work is virtually unknown in the public and often under-recognized in medicine and the media.

In this first installment of a 2-Part interview, Host Bruce Watkins is joined by Prof. Levi Waldron, Associate Professor of the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and the Institute for Implementation Science in Public Health.  

Bruce and Prof. Waldron start their discussion with eye-opening information about the field of “Biostatistics.” They then continue to explore how Data Scientists like Dr. Levi, with the aid of futuristic computing technologies, partner with hands-on researchers in laboratories around the world to dramatically increase the speed to which beneficial information can be found within a sea of varying, unclear and sometimes conflicting laboratory results. And by information, we mean finding within all the research data the hidden tidbits of proof, or the indication of a false positive result, that could change the course of future medical treatments and potentially our own personal health outcomes and sometimes, our very lives. This and much more about the creative ways that data analysis is used to discover and then clarify critical information and medical breakthroughs are included in these two installments of the show!

The episode also goes beyond Prof. Waldron’s fascinating work, and its potential to enhance and accelerate new and more effective treatments. Just as compelling is Dr. Levi’s personal story.

After several years of compiling and analyzing countless petabytes of medical data on thousands of Head and Neck cancer patients, one day Dr. Levi would learn that he too was diagnosed with that very disease. Bruce and Dr. Levi cover how the professor used complex biostatistics and supercomputing to build predictive models of survival for cancer patients. Then they candidly discuss what it was like for an expert like Dr. Levi, who built those highly-accurate mathematical projections of mortality, to one day realize that he could become one of the statistics of his own life and death projections.  

Be sure to also listen to the upcoming Part-2 of this interview With Dr. Levi where he discusses his personal experience when learning of his cancer diagnosis, and his insights and advice on how we all can seek more reliable data to help us in our own personal treatment decisions.

Hear PART-2 of the interview with Prof. Levi Waldron on the Our Cancer Journey Podcast:

#020 – Biostatistics & Informatics Part 2 – Prof. Levi Waldron


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Episode Guest:

Professor Waldron received a BSc in physics from the University of British Columbia, an MSc in physics from the University of Waterloo, and a PhD in wood science from the University of Toronto. He developed his interest in biostatistics and public health during post-docs at the Ontario Cancer Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Harvard School of Public Health, before joining the faculty at CUNY. Prof. Waldron works on a variety of projects including some funded by the NIH, and he also serves on the steering committee of the Microbiome Virtual International Forum, a multi-day event that brings together scientists from a variety of disciplines from around the globe to share information and learn about the Human Biome. Dr. Levi has also been very active in cancer support community, and shared his personal story throughout his cancer journey as an example to others I would follow.

Episode Host: Bruce Watkins

A Father, Cancer survivor, producer, podcaster, writer & content creator, speaker, voice-over artist, facilitator/moderator, avid traveler, cultural explorer, humanitarian, giving-back & minimalist evangelist, music enthusiast, former Corporate people leader, and curious soul who transformed into an unapologetically optimistic and unpretentious advocate of Life-Optimization for all. 

After surviving Cancer and other life-changing experiences in 2017, Bruce gave away most of his possessions, left his home behind, and began traveling, writing, volunteering, and giving-back. 




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