top of page

Joan Sander Chmiel became the first female faculty member to join the University of Chicago Department of Statistics, serving as an assistant professor from 1976-1979. She attended Stanford University and completed a PhD in Statistics in 1975, advised by Rupert G. Miller on the dissertation, “Asymptotic Properties for Estimators Derived from the Kaplan-Meier Estimator.”


During 1975-1976 she was an Instructor (Statistics) in the Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In January 1979, Chmiel joined Northwestern University as an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine in the Medical School; she was promoted to associate professor in 1985.


In 1991, Chmiel became a professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Biostatistics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she currently serves as a biostatistician. She is an expert in general biostatistical methods for clinical trial design and analyses, and has extensive experience in the analysis of prospective observational epidemiologic studies. She is co-investigator and senior biostatistician on several NIH-funded rheumatology studies, and a member of the Methodology Core of Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center in Rheumatology at Northwestern. Her research during her career has been on the epidemiology of HIV-1 infection, statistical methods for the design and analysis of clinical and epidemiological studies of cancer, osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


During her career, Chmiel has been an active member of the American Statistical Association (ASA), including service as chair-elect (2001) and chair (2002) of the Biometrics Section of the ASA, and Council of Chapters Representative on the ASA Board of Directors (2004-2006). She is a Fellow of the ASA (Elected 1997). She also has held important leadership roles in the International Biometric Society, Eastern North American Region (ENAR), and has served on the ENAR Regional Advisory Board (1989-1991) and elected to the ENAR Regional Committee (RECOM) (1998-2000).

Read more:



First female faculty member in Statistics at UChicago, now Northwestern Medicine professor and biostatistician who played an integral role in large HIV-1 cohort studies in the early decades of the epidemic

Joan Chmiel- PREFERRED.jpeg

Photo Source: Galter Library, Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine

bottom of page