Joyce C. Niland, Ph.D., has been named as the first holder of the newly endowed Edward and Estelle Alexander Chair in Information Sciences, as well as associate director of City of Hope Cancer Center.
The endowed chair was established through a bequest from the estate of Edward and Estelle Alexander in appreciation of the care Edward Alexander’s mother received at City of Hope.
Niland, an internationally recognized leader in biomedical informatics and a member of numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees, heads City of Hope’s Division of Information Sciences.
As associate director of City of Hope Cancer Center, Niland will ensure ongoing support of investigator-initiated clinical research, while establishing City of Hope as a model for the development and adoption of emerging best practices in translational research worldwide.
“This honor recognizes both Joyce Niland’s prominence in the fields of information sciences and biomedical informatics, as well as her many contributions to the research enterprise of City of Hope,” said Theodore G. Krontiris, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, medical and scientific affairs, and director of City of Hope Cancer Center. “Information sciences is tightly integrated into the clinical research conducted at City of Hope and enables us to make rapid advances in treatment and discovery.”
Said Niland: “I am very proud to be the first holder of the Edward and Estelle Alexander Chair in Information Sciences. City of Hope is a key participant within the National Cancer Institute’s clinical trials informatics initiative. This generous endowment will enable us to continue our collaborations with other cancer centers in creating a global information model to speed future biomedical research.”
Niland joined City of Hope in 1988 and helped form the Division of Information Sciences in 1997. She oversees 150 faculty and staff within the departments of Biostatistics, Clinical Research Information Management, and Biomedical Informatics. The division collaborates in numerous facets of both clinical and basic science research throughout City of Hope, including study design, data modeling and computational analysis. Niland is a full professor in the Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope, and holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, serving as president of the Southern California association in 1996, and as vice president of the national association from 2003 to 2005.
A leader in biomedical informatics and computational statistics for more than 25 years, Niland serves as an expert reviewer for the NIH, an external advisor for a number of cancer centers, and associate editor of the official journals of the American Medical Informatics Association and International Association for Statistical Computing. She is the director of the Data Coordinating Centers for a National Comprehensive Cancer Network outcomes research study, and for the national Islet Cell Resources Consortium, which focuses on transplantation treatment of type 1 diabetes. She has been the principal investigator of several peer-reviewed research grants in biomedical informatics, and leads City of Hope’s participation in the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid, an initiative to create shared software systems and data to speed cancer research.