The burgeoning research support system at the University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville now includes the first doctorate-level biostatistician available full time for consulting on the Jacksonville campus.
Dale F. Kraemer, Ph.D., associate professor at the UF Center for Health Equity and Quality Research (CHEQR), started in May. Kraemer comes to UF from the departments of pharmacy practice; medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, and public health and preventative medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore.
The Jacksonville campus had contracted with a biostatistician at the University of North Florida to work part-time and worked some with UF in Gainesville, but now Kraemer is solely dedicated to the Health Science Center Jacksonville.
Kraemer will lead a team of two other statisticians and focus on the consulting end of research projects with faculty. He will be fundamental in helping faculty design research projects, define the questions that should be asked for a study and analyzing the data once it comes in, said David L. Wood, M.D., a professor in the department of pediatrics and medical director for CHEQR.
CHEQR was established in 2008 as a College of Medicine–Jacksonville research center by Robert C. Nuss, M.D., UF associate vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine’s Jacksonville regional campus. The center continues to be supported by the dean with partial support from federal and other sponsored research activities.
Wood said Kraemer’s role will also include education, holding classes specific to research methods and biostatistics.
"He will provide a lot more capacity for us to teach residents, fellows and junior faculty in research methodology," Wood said.
During his 14 years in Portland, Kraemer worked extensively with a neurologist to find ways to get more medicine directly to brain tumors. He previously worked for a pharmaceutical company in Michigan working on registration trials. His duties included designing and analyzing studies, along with meeting with the Food and Drug Administration to discuss results.
Kraemer has already dug into some major projects and played a key role in the youth sports concussion study released by the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida last month.
Other projects include:
- Working with a pediatric neurosurgeon to evaluate different ways to conduct endoscopic endonasal procedures.
- Helping an oncologist study differences between cancer patients who enter the system through the emergency department versus those who go directly to surgeons.
- Developing two different studies looking at health disparities – one among breast cancer patients, the other with people who have epilepsy.
While Kraemer will be available to all researchers on the Jacksonville campus, he will be based in the CHEQR offices where research often focuses on health disparities based on economic and societal differences. He said studying disparities was a major draw for him to come to Jacksonville.
Campus leaders have put an emphasis on increasing research and Wood said Kraemer’s hiring only helps faculty develop their ideas and increases their chances of attracting outside funding and getting published.
"My goal is to create enough research that we have to hire a couple more statisticians to keep up with it," Kraemer said. "That means we’re producing research – that’s the goal."