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Susan Halabi, Ph.D.

As a professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Dr Susan Halabi’s research specializes in the design and analysis of clinical trials, statistical analysis of biomarker and high dimensional data, and development and validation of prognostic and predictive models.  It is a perfect fit that she has taught CRP 248 – Clinical Trials since 2002 and mentored many students in the program.

“One of the uniquely rewarding aspects of teaching in the Clinical Research Training Program is to be able to train future colleagues in clinical trials and move scientific knowledge forward on cancer research.” Several years ago, Dr. Halabi came up with an innovative way to contribute; she and co-editor Kevin Kelly, DO published “Oncology Clinical Trials: Successful Design, Conduct, and Analysis” and earmarked proceeds specifically for use in funding Young Investigator Awards for the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

This year, Dr. Halabi received major press attention for her recent research which found that among National Cancer Institute (NCI) clinical trials, African American men who get treatment have a 24 percent lower risk of death than Caucasian men.  She developed a validated prognostic model for predicting survival in CRPC  - An analysis of African-American and Caucasian patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) demonstrated that there was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) between the 2 populations—a finding that was opposite of prior hypotheses.  Previously, Dr. Halabi developed a multivariable model for calculating probability of survival among patients with prostate cancer—a tool that may ease treatment decisions and help improve quality of life.  A recent Research Project Grant (RO1) from the NCI is funding 4 more years of research as Dr. Halabi works to develop new prognostic models for use in treating men with advanced prostate cancer.

Susan Halabi earned her Ph.D. in biometry from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1994, and joined the Duke faculty in 1996. Halabi was named a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in 2018.  She is the first biostatistician to receive the Fellow for ASCO  designation.  Previously, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2015 and also named a fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials in 2014, "for her outstanding leadership in cancer clinical trials and prognostic development, educational activities, and for dedicated service on national review committees, DSMBs and scientific advisory committees and for the SCT.”  She has served as a scientific and an ad-hoc reviewer on several study sections and special panels at the NIH and the Department of Defense, and holds several board, editorial and other leadership positions.