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Biostatistician DeMets set for next Discovery Lecture

Mar. 4, 2021, 9:03 AM


by Leigh MacMillan

David DeMets, PhD, known for his work on statistical methods to monitor interim clinical trial data for early evidence of benefit or harm, will deliver the next web-based Discovery Lecture.

David DeMets, PhD

DeMets’s lecture, “The Impact of the Randomized Clinical Trial on Medical Care Including the COVID-19 Era,” is on Thursday, March 18 at 4 p.m. via Zoom. All participants need to register in advance to receive the webinar instructions.

DeMets is currently the Max Halperin Professor of Biostatistics, Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is the founder and former chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics. His research interests include the design, data monitoring and analysis of clinical trials, especially large phase 3 randomized clinical trials (RCTs).

For five decades, RCTs have been the gold standard for evaluating new drugs, medical devices, procedures, diagnostic tests and vaccines. With time, the cost of conducting RCTs has become increasingly prohibitive. DeMets argues that the opportunity exists to conduct more efficient and rapid evaluations of new interventions — with evidence from the recent evaluation of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

DeMets is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and an elected fellow of the International Statistics Institute, American Statistical Association, Association for the Advancement of Science, Society for Clinical Trials and American Medical Informatics Association.

His lecture is sponsored by the Department of Biostatistics. For a complete schedule of Discovery Lectures, archived video of previous lectures, and the webinar registration link, go to

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