Dorina Kallogjeri, MD, MPH, is the research statistician behind the Clinical Outcomes Research Office, assisting our department’s investigators on everything from framing their research to evaluating results. Dr. Kallogjeri spent some time with us reflecting on what brought her to Washington University and what she loves about her job
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I am one of those lucky people that can loudly say: “I love my job.” There are many things that I enjoy about my work and on the top of that list is being challenged with new ideas and projects almost every day. There are new things to learn every day, and the job never gets boring. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with leading researchers and clinicians in the Otolaryngology field. It is a joy to be part of projects that aim to advance the field of Otolaryngology and clinical research in general. I love my job, and I take it very seriously
Why did you choose to focus on biostatistics after being a pediatrician?
Mathematics has always been another love of mine in addition to medicine. Through biostatistics I found that I could merge my two passions into one. Very soon I understood that it was a field that I enjoyed and I could do a good job. My medical background has helped me to better communicate and help clinical researchers, to better understand the data, and to interpret statistical findings in a clinically meaningful way. Biostatistics has helped me to remain engaged in the medical field, although in a different way. I believe that the combination of my knowledge in biostatistics and medicine has also helped me to be a better teacher of statistics for medical professionals.
Was there anything else that brought you to St. Louis aside from getting your Masters in Public Health (MPH) at St. Louis University School of Public Health?
I came to St. Louis to join my husband and start a family. It was not an easy decision to make, but I am happy that I made it. I am blessed with a beautiful family. My husband Mike and I have two wonderful sons: Andy (17) and Henry (11), and St. Louis is our home now. I have lived in St. Louis for almost 20 years, and 13 of them I have been working in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Washington University.
Anything else you’d like to add about your work or the path you took to get here?
I was hired from Dr. Jay Piccirillo to work as a senior data control coordinator in the Clinical Outcomes Research Office soon after my MPH graduation. I became part of a team that was always working hard to successfully complete many projects and was always open to collaboration. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to be part of Dr. Piccirillo’s team and learn from him every day.
A few years later I got promoted to research statistician. I have assisted in many grant submissions and I have worked in many research projects funded from different agencies including National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD). I have assisted in preparing presentations and manuscripts. Every project has been a learning experience that I have tried to carry on and utilize in new projects.
During my 13 years in this department I have had the opportunity to work with students, residents, and faculty members. Each and every one of them has helped me learn new things.
But, I would not be who I am today, without the leadership and help of my mentors Dr. Piccirillo and Prof. Edward Spitznagel Jr. They have continuously taught me, challenged me, and lead me to always look for improvement. I will continue to work hard to support research in our department, and I hope that with my work I will be able to justify my mentors’ trust in me.