Mimi Kim is appointed to the NISS Board by the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS). The COPSS committee provides a forum for member societies to discuss issues important to statistics. Kim is a professor of Biostatistics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology & Population Health. She also heads the department’s Division of Biostatistics which consists of 20 faculty and staff. At Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Kim is conducting research in the area of systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease that frequently occurs in younger women. Most lupus trials have failed to identify effective new therapies. “And it’s unclear whether these failures are caused by treatments that don’t work or by flawed study designs and weak analytic approaches that can’t detect treatment signals because the patient population is so heterogeneous,” says Kim. On this project, Kim is mining data from past industry-sponsored trials with the goal to better understand the methodological challenges in evaluating new drugs for lupus and improve how future trials are designed and analyzed.
“I was very honored,” says Kim, when she was approached to join the NISS Board. Adding she said, “I am passionate about NISS’ mission to bring together people from academia, government and industry to collaborate on finding statistical solutions to complex problems. I also think the opportunities for continuing education which NISS offers to the statistical community are extremely valuable.”
Board members play an important role in steering the organization to advance its mission. Kim served on the boards of many other organizations including the American Statistical Association’s (ASA) Council of Chapters Governing Board as Vice Chair for District 1. She is currently the president of the Korean International Statistical Society. Before becoming president of the society, Kim served as a board member for several years. She says, “I’m continuously amazed at how a board member can have an impact just by putting in a little effort. The experience is very interesting and rewarding.”
Talking about her motivation to join the NISS Board, Kim says, “I was impressed with Jim Rosenberger’s vision for NISS, and especially his plans for increasing opportunities for interactions between statisticians from different sectors.” Kim has done a lot of work in academia and hopes that she can help expand NISS’ network and affiliations with academic institutions and come up with new ideas for how NISS can increase its value to these affiliates.
Kim spent her entire career working at medical schools, spending 13 years at New York University and has been with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for 15 years. Her research interests have largely been in the areas of epidemiological and clinical studies. While she was working on research projects on cancer and HIV, she became interested in developing methods for analyzing serial measures of disease biomarkers, and ways to correct for measurement error which can be caused by faulty lab techniques and natural biological fluctuations.
In addition, Kim is interested in assessing how measurement error, non-compliance to treatment, and missing data can influence the design and analysis of trials where the goal is to show that the experimental treatment is non-inferior when compared to a control or standard treatment. These non-inferiority trials are becoming more common and are relevant when the new drug is safer, cheaper, easier to administer, or offers other benefits compared to the standard.
Kim was born in California but she spent most of her childhood in the suburbs of Washington, DC. She returned to Northern California when she was 14 and attended the University of California, Berkeley where she studied bioengineering. During her senior year at Berkeley, Kim worked part-time as a public health researcher at the start of the AIDS epidemic. She attended Harvard School of Public Health to pursue a master’s degree and a doctorate in biostatistics. She now lives in New York. Kim is an avid runner and enjoys going on long hikes in the woods with her 9-year-old dog, Lucy. She also loves exploring New York City on the weekends with her husband and trying new restaurants and visiting museums.