Karen Lamb, Superstar of STEM

Dr Karen Lamb

Biostatistician & Researcher

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Dr Karen Lamb is a biostatistician and researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. She is also a theatre lover, an avid reader and an enthusiastic albeit terrible dancer. Originally from Scotland, Karen completed an Honours degree in Statistics at the University of Glasgow. It was here that she became interested in applying statistics to medical research questions.

Her Honours research involved developing a scoring system for doctors to use to assist in the diagnosis of stroke. She completed a PhD in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, examining the effectiveness of a vaccine for preventing childhood infectious disease.
Following her PhD, Karen spent two years working at the Medical Research Council in Glasgow helping address problems about how where people live, and the resources they have around them, influences their health and behaviour. She relocated to Australia in 2012 to take up a position at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute as part of the newly created Victorian Centre for Biostatistics (ViCBiostat) where her research focussed on childhood cancer.

In 2014, Karen was awarded an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and joined the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) at Deakin University to tackle statistical issues in neighbourhoods and health research. Following her fellowship, Karen continued working at Deakin University combining her research with statistical consultancy for staff and students in the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN). She returned to the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in March 2018 as biostatistician for the Generation Victoria (Gen V) cohort study.

Karen is passionate about statistical communication and gets a real buzz out of helping researchers in other disciplines use statistics to answer research questions. This is often more about successful communication of statistics than it is about the statistics themselves! Karen finds the process of making non-mathematicians comfortable with mathematics to be both challenging and hugely rewarding. As a result, the focus of her research has been as diverse as the people she has been fortunate enough to work with, including doctors, psychologists, epidemiologists, social scientists, biologists and many more!

Dr Karen Lamb is a Superstar of STEM.