Sharon-Lise Normand, PhD

Sharon-Lise T. Normand, PhD, is the S. James Adelstein Professor of Health Care Policy (biostatistics) in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and in the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Normand’s research focuses on the development of statistical methods for health services and regulatory policy research, primarily using Bayesian approaches, including assessment of quality of care, methods for causal inference, provider profiling, diffusion of medical technologies, and regulatory science. She has developed a long line of research on methods for the analysis of patterns of treatment and quality of care for patients with cardiovascular disease and with mental disorders in particular.

Dr. Normand has developed analytical approaches for comparing hospitals and physicians using outcomes and process-based measures. Since 2002, she has served as director of Mass-DAC, the data-coordinating center responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on the quality of care for adults discharged following a cardiac procedure from all non-federal hospitals in Massachusetts. Dr. Normand and colleagues annually report on hospital and physician performance using prospectively collected medical-record data. She is also the director of the Medical Device Epidemiology Network (MDEpiNet) Methodology Center, which is a public-private partnership aimed at medical device evaluation. MDEpiNet partners with the FDA’s Center for Device and Radiological Health, the Science and Infrastructure Center at Weill Cornell Medical School, and the Coordinating Center located at Duke University Medical Center. Her focus is on the development of statistical approaches to active medical device surveillance, valid inferences from distributed networks, and the improvement of causal inference in the presence of high dimensional data. On the mental health side, Dr. Normand is leading an NIMH-funded study to estimate the value of publicly funded mental health care for patients with serious mental illness. She is also undertaking a study to estimate causal dose “outcomes” curves in the context of understanding weight gain associated with cumulative antipsychotic drug exposure among subjects with schizophrenia for numerous different antipsychotics.  

Dr. Normand earned her BSc and MSc degrees in statistics from the University of Western Ontario and her PhD in biostatistics from the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and an Associate Member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. She served as the 2010 President of the Eastern North American Region of the International Biometrics Society; was inaugural co-chair of the PCORI Methodology Committee; co-chairs a Committee on National Statistics/National Academy of Sciences panel reviewing the Safety Measurement System of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program run by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which penalizes truck carriers based on their scores from vehicle inspection data; and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee of Applied and Theoretical Statistics (CATS) focusing on the intersections of statistics and computer science for big data.

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Honors and Awards


L. Adrienne Cupples Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research, and Service in Biostatistics, Boston University

Elected, Society for Research Synthesis Methodology


Distinguished Scientist Award, American Heart Association


Distinguished Service Award, International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research


Long Term Excellence Award, American Statistical Association,  Health Policy Statistics Section


IBM Faculty Award, nominated by IBM Healthcare Transformation Group



Fellow, American Heart Association

Outstanding Publication Award, American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Suaya JA, Stason WB, Ades PA, Normand S-LT, Shepard DS. “Cardiac rehabilitation and survival in older coronary patients. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2009;54:25-33.”


Finalist, 2007 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award “Rethinking evidence for medical therapies.”


Elected Associate, Society of Thoracic Surgeons


Canadian Institute of Health Research Institute of Aging Age Plus Award, Excellence in Research on Aging for British Medical Journal article “Atypical antipsychotic drugs and risk of ischemic stroke: population based retrospective cohort study”, BMJ 2005, 330(7489):445-450.


Excellence in Mental Health Policy and Economics Research Award, Best Paper, Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics


Elected Fellow, American Statistical Association for “influential application of Bayesian methodology to health policy problems, for leadership in the new area of health policy statistics, and for promoting and communicating statistical methods and assessments of the quality of cardiovascular disease and mental illness.”


Elected Fellow, American College of Cardiology


National Science Foundation: Young Researcher Award, Support for the 4th Valencia International Meeting on Bayesian Statistics USA


Life Sciences Graduate Degree Completion Scholarship, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario CANADA


Life Sciences Committee Scholarship in Cancer Research, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario CANADA


Ontario Graduate Scholarship, University of Toronto, CANADA


Special University Scholarship, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario CANADA


Entrance Scholarship, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario CANADA


University Gold Medal in Mathematical Statistics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario CANADA