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Laurence S. Magder, PhD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:

Epidemiology & Public Health


HH 114B

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-3253


(410) 706-3808

Education and Training

PhD in Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University, 1994

Masters of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1983


Work Experience:

1983-1988: Mathematical Statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 

1988-1994: Research Assistant at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health

1994-present: Assistant/Associate/Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Collaborative Work:

I have over 30 years of experience providing biostatistical expertise for biomedical research projects.  This work has resulted in almost 200 publications in the biomedical literature.

Methodologic Work:

In addition to my collaborative work, I am interested in developing relatively simple, easy-to-use, statistical methods that can be useful in biomedical research. See list of publications below for some examples.

The Role of Statistics in Science:

I am also interested in promoting a shift in the view of the role of statistics in biomedical research. Statistical methods are often described in courses and in practice as methods for using data to decide whether to accept or reject hypotheses. In contrast, I view statistical methods as ways to quantify the evidence in a set of data with respect to hypotheses. Given this information, scientists can then weigh all relevant considerations in making a scientific judgement about hypotheses. This shift in thinking about the role of statistics renders many traditional statistical topics (such the use of one-sided versus two-sided tests, or the adjustment for multiple comparisons) irrelevant.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Biostatistics, Epidemiologic Methods, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Analysis of Misclassified Data, Modeling Transmission Probabilities, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Highlighted Publications

Magder LS and Brookmeyer R. Analysis of infectious disease data from partner studies with unknown source of infection. Biometrics 1993; 49:1110-1116.

Magder, LS and Zeger, SL. A smooth nonparametric estimate of a mixing distribution using mixtures of Gaussians. Journal of the American Statistical Association September 1996; 91:1141-1151

Magder LS and Hughes J. Logistic Regression when the outcome is measured with uncertainty. American Journal of Epidemiology 1997; 146(2):195-203.

Magder LS. Simple approaches to assess the possible impact of missing outcome information on estimates of risk ratios, odds ratios, and risk differences. Controlled Clinical Trials, 2003 24: 411-421.

Magder LS, Fix A. Optimal choice of a cutpoint for a quantitative diagnostic test performed for research purposes, Journal of Clinical Epidemiolgy 2003 Oct;56(10):956-62

Additional Publication Citations

A complete list of Dr. Magder's publications can be found on PubMed

Research Interests

Analysis of longitudional data, analysis of misclassified or missing data, estimation of transmission probabilities, the role of statistics in science, systemic lupus erythematosus