We talk with Marty Chaplin (nee Richardson), Associate Statistician & Research Assistant with CIDG.
Marty completed a BSc in Mathematics (2011) and MSc in Statistical Epidemiology (2012), both at the University of Leeds. Marty is currently completing a part-time PhD specializing in meta-analysis of pharmacogenetics data.
Since joining Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2013, she has provided statistical support two days a week for CIDG. This work involves acting as co-author for systematic reviews with meta-analysis, undertaking research into review methodology and completing peer reviews.
Could you describe where you currently work and what you do there?
I work as a medical statistician for both the CIDG group, based at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and the Liverpool Reviews and Implementation Group (LRiG), at the University of Liverpool.
What is a typical day for you?
I provide statistical support to colleagues in both my teams in the area of systematic reviews and meta-analysis. This support mostly involves co-authoring Cochrane reviews, and contributing to clinical and cost effectiveness reviews of new and existing health technologies as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme. I am also undertaking a part-time PhD on the meta-analysis of pharmacogenetic studies.
What prompted you to work in this area?
Having enjoyed studying for my BSc in Mathematics, I wanted to use this training for a worthwhile cause. Health research in particular grabbed my interest, and I decided to do my MSc in Statistical Epidemiology. Post-university, I applied for the role split between LRiG and CIDG as it was clear that both groups positively impact healthcare both here in the UK and globally in lower and middle- income countries.
How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I would say probably as part of my Masters in Statistical Epidemiology, when we were introduced to methodology for systematic reviews and meta-analysis.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with Cochrane?
I enjoy working with a variety of different people, both here in Liverpool and our authors all over the globe. Completing a Cochrane review and seeing the impact your review has on policy is also very rewarding.
Who (or what) has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
As my career has been relatively short so far, I would have to say my colleagues and experiences at CIDG and LRiG. This was my first job following my masters, and I wasn’t very sure which area of medical statistics would end up being my speciality. I have had a fantastic few years with wonderful, passionate colleagues, and have found evidence synthesis to be an interesting and rewarding area, particularly as I work on such a variety of different projects from day to day. I can therefore safely say that evidence synthesis is the area I would like to remain in for the rest of my career!
Please list three words you would associate with Cochrane.
Global, independent, relevant
What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy running, travelling, and spending time with my family and friends.
The CIDG editorial base is located at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, UK. The CIDG is led by Professor Paul Garner (Co-ordinating Editor) and Deirdre Walshe (Managing Editor). Over 600 authors from some 52 countries contribute to the preparation of the Cochrane Reviews. They are supported by an international team of Editors, each with topic or methodological expertise.
The CIDG’s main areas of work are on determination of the effects of interventions on the prevention or treatment infectious diseases of relevance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. The aims of the CIDG are to impact on policy and research in tropical diseases through the production of high quality and relevant systematic reviews, and to lead developments in review quality improvement and effective dissemination of findings.