Joyce Niland, Ph.D.

  • Estelle and Edward Alexander Chair in Information Sciences
  • Chair and Professor, Department of Diabetes & Cancer Discovery Science

Joyce Niland, Ph.D.

Research Focus :
  • Statistical Methodology in Longitudinal, Observational Studies
  • Outcomes Research
  • Clinical Trials Design and Methodology in Oncology
  • Secondary Use of Clinical Data for Research
  • Biomedical Informatics and Information Integration
  • Data Warehousing for Research
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Clinical/Phenotypic Data Repositories
  • Decision Support Systems for Biomedical Research
A brilliant researcher, manager and problem solver, Joyce Niland, Ph.D.,chair and professor in the Department of Diabetes & Cancer Discovery Science within City of Hope’s Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute, is an internationally recognized leader in biomedical informatics and computational statistics who is tackling the most pressing issues in diabetes and cancer research.
Originally trained as a physical therapist, Dr. Niland applies her attributes of empathy and compassion to the field of information sciences. During her three decades at City of Hope she has helped design, build and run our world-class data analysis capabilities: critical 21st century tools essential for treating and curing cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Niland founded Biomedical Informatics as a discipline at our Beckman Research Institute, where she is principal investigator of several peer-reviewed research grants. She created the Department of Information Sciences as an integrated central research support and served as Cancer Center associate director for Informatics and as chief research information officer.

In addition to being a full professor at Beckman, Dr. Niland holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She is a much sought-after expert with hundreds of publications to her credit. She is a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, an advisor for several cancer centers, and associate editor of the official journals of the American Medical Informatics Association and International Association for Statistical Computing.
  • 2017 - present, Chair, Department of Diabetes & Cancer Discovery Science, Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2014 - present, Chief Research Information Officer, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2006 - present, Estelle and Edward Alexander Chair in Information Sciences, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2006 - present, Associate Director for Cancer Informatics, City of Hope's Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA
  • 2004, Chair, ASA Graduate Education and Research Task Force
  • 2001 - 2002, Chair, Clinical Trials Working Group, American Medical Informatics Association
  • 2000 - present, Clinical Professor of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1998 - 2001, Chair, Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems Consortium
  • 1997 - 2017, Chair and Professor, Department of Research Information Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 1995, Research Scientist, Division of Biostatistics, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 1991, Principal Investigator, Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) Planning and Operational Grants, City of Hope
  • 1988 - 1995, Associate Research Scientist, Division of Biostatistics, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 1985 - 1988, Co-director, Biostatistics Core, Transfusion Safety Study, USC
  • 1985 - 1988, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Biometry, USC
  • 1983, Visiting Instructor, University of California at Irvine, School of Medicine
  • 1980 - 1984, Instructor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Biometry, USC
  • 1977 - 1984, Research Associate, Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Biometry, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles


  • 1984, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Ph.D., Biometry
  • 1979, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, M.S., Biometry
  • 1978, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, M.S., Physical Therapy
  • 1975, Stanford University, Palo Alto, B.A., Human Biology
Among the projects underway in Niland’s lab are the following studies:

Principal Investigator, Human Islet Research Network (HIRN) Coordinating Center
City of Hope serves as the HIRN Coordinating Center (CC), to support HIRN’s goal of developing innovative strategies for the treatment, prevention and cure of type 1 diabete. The HIRN-CC provides critical infrastructure to promote communication and collaboration among current and future HIRN participants, facilitating scientific advances and fostering the sharing of data, tools and reagents among HIRN members and the research community at large.

Co-principal Investigator, Human Islet Research Network Bioinformatics Center
To accelerate progress in understanding and treating type 1 diabetes (T1D), relevant biological data must be organized, exchanged and analyzed efficiently, a challenging and high-priority need. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Niland and her team are building upon City of Hope’s expertise and experience in biomedical informatics to establish the Human Islet Research Network Bioinformatics Center (HIRN-BC) within the Department of Research Information Sciences at City of Hope. The overall objective of the HIRN BC is to advance T1D knowledge generated through HIRN by providing the bioinformatics capability and infrastructure needed to support this consortium for the next five years and beyond. The BC provides data collaboration and communication tools to address the aforementioned barriers to informatics support for diabetes research.
Principal Investigator, Helmsley Charitable Trust Conference Grant
The Human Islet Research Network (HIRN) focuses on research that will lead to a greater understanding of the early stages of the type 1 diabetes disease process in humans. This conference grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust will facilitate HIRN investigators’ participation in the annual meeting and scientific retreat, allowing them to collaborate and advance their work.

Principal Investigator, Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium Coordinating Center and Pilot Projects
The scientific goals of the Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium are to:
  1. isolate, characterize, culture and validate populations of intestinal stem cells;
  2. answer major questions in stem-cell biology of the intestinal epithelium and
  3. accelerate research by making information and resources available to the research community. Long-term goals include: 1) to contribute to greater understanding of stem-cell biology through knowledge of the intestine as a model stem cell-driven system, and 2) lay the groundwork for therapeutic manipulation of the intestinal epithelium.

Principal Investigator, Integrated Islet Distribution Program (IIDP)
The IIDP serves the biomedical research community by providing investigators with access to human islets to enhance knowledge of islet cell biology. Project goals include:
  1. to establish a coordinating center that provides for the distribution of human cadaveric islets for laboratory research,
  2. to assure continued islet availability to the medical research community and
  3. to develop and maintain a financial system that both collects and disburses respective receivables and expenditures.
For this project, Dr. Niland led the development of a unique automated web-based islet distribution system that optimizes the availability of high-quality islets for approved investigators nationwide, and monitors and balances the supply-and-demand ratio.

Information listed here is obtained from Pubmed, a public database; City of Hope is not responsible for its accuracy. (NOTE: Publications are listed under Joyce Niland Weiss from 1980-86, and under Joyce C. Niland from 1987-Present)

  • 2014 - Present, International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association 2013 - Present, Cancer Informatics for Cancer Center (CI4CC)
  • 2003 - Present, International Statistical Institute
  • 1998 - Present, American Medical Informatics Association
  • 1998 - Present, International Association for Statistical Computing
  • 1989 - Present, American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • 1987 - Present, Society for Clinical Trials
  • 1985 - Present, American Public Health Association
  • 1984 - Present,The Biometric Society
  • 1983 - Present , American Statistical Association
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