Dirk Lehnick holds a PhD in Statistics and a Diploma in Business Administration from the Georg-August-University in Goettingen, Germany.
Until 2003, he worked at the University of Goettingen on a large variety of research topics in Statistics, Medicine, Finance, Economics, Logistics, Quality Management (Six Sigma) and Criminology. A major aspect of his academic career was the opportunity to work on statistical consulting projects, especially for several clinicians and medical key opinion leaders. Furthermore, Dirk very much enjoyed giving teaching courses, ranging from small interactive seminars to lectures with up to 1000 students.
After working as a lecturer and Senior Fellow at the University of Goettingen’s Institute of Statistics and Econometrics, he moved into the commercial pharmaceutical industry. Since 2003, Dirk Lehnick has led Biostatistics and Data Science departments in CROs (Contract Research Organisations) and has been involved in many drug development programmes for originators/innovators, biosimilars (special interest) and generics as well as in the development of medical devices. He managed and supervised multinational teams of statisticians, pharmacokineticists, and data analysis staff, focusing on both, Early Stage (Phase I/IIa) and Late Stage (Phase II-IV) Development. Projects were covering all major therapeutic areas including cardiology, central nervous system (CNS), oncology, diabetes, endocrinology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, dermatology, women’s health, and respiratory diseases. He successfully acted as the client’s key contact, coordinating functions within and across departments to guarantee statistical and pharmacokinetic analyses according to timelines, regulatory guidelines, highest quality standards and client-specific requirements. Relying on his experience in a wide range of clinical studies and statistical methods, many clients also used to ask him for consulting regarding development programs, study design, health authorities, and a spectrum of topics that was much broader than just statistical and data-related aspects.
In April 2017, Dirk joined the Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy at the University of Lucerne in order to support the further development of the Clinical Trial Unit Central Switzerland (CTU-CS). In his role as Head Biostatistics and Methodology, Dirk hopes to be able to contribute his experience from both, the academic as well as the contract research environment.
The most fascinating experiences in my research career used to come from opportunities to work on solutions and decisions within inter-disciplinary teams.
Like probably almost everybody who chose Statistics or Quantitative Methods as a basis of his education, I am captivated by the elegance of Mathematics and logical thinking.
However, even more than digging into mathematical theory my passion is to see how Applied Statistics and Data Analysis can help to solve real-world problems.
E.g., for the planning and conduct of clinical studies and development programmes, the interaction of medical and statistical experts will regularly create high add-on value in order to derive evidence-based conclusions.
There is no need to apply complex statistical methodology just because it might be available or a little bit more efficient. Statisticians can help to set-up projects in a way so that scientists of other disciplines (e.g. clinicians) can obtain convincing messages based upon methods which are supported by standard software packages and which are well-known in their respective scene.
On the other hand, statisticians might be able to offer innovative designs or advanced methods where appropriate to save a lot of time and money or in settings where, just based on standard approaches, a successful conduct of studies or research projects would not be realistic or feasible.
To my experience, this philosophy is a valuable foundation for research in medicine and pharmaceutics but also in many other fields (such as economics, market research, social sciences, natural sciences, criminology etc.) to which I had the opportunity to contribute and in which evidence-based conclusions always use to be the superior choice over gut decisions.
Please, feel invited to liaise.