Alexandra Hanlon, PhD
As a collaborative biostatistician, Alexandra L. Hanlon is currently using “big data” and novel research methods to improve health outcomes.
In one study, she is part of a team of researchers at Penn who are working with a set of more than 200,000 individual observations to analyze relationships between sleep, body composition, and cardiovascular risk. Working with such large quantities of data has the potential to advance the emerging field of personalized medicine by showing how many different factors play a role in a health outcome.
For example, this type of work can help health care providers and patients learn how genetic makeup, environmental exposures, and personal attributes figure into a treatment response.
“In health, evidence-based practice and research are essential, and my passion is helping students follow a more data-driven path.”
- PhD, Temple University, 1998
- MS, University of California, Irvine, 1991
- BS , Rochester Institute of Technology, 1985
As founder and director of the Office of Nursing Research’s Biostatistics Evaluation, Collaboration, Consultation, and Analysis laboratory, Dr. Hanlon leads a team that provides sophisticated data management and biostatistical support to help Penn Nursing researchers design, implement, analyze, and disseminate their research. She herself has provided biostatistical expertise for funded projects on a wide range of topics, including AIDS, snoring and atherosclerosis, women’s and infant health, and more. Dr. Hanlon credits her relationships and research partnerships with stellar colleagues for her track record of publications and funded grants. She also consults nationally on biostatistics, providing expertise for such groups as the American College of Radiology, and university systems and health centers.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
The Biostatistics, Evaluation, Collaboration, Consultation, and Analysis laboratory grew out of Penn Nursing’s imperative to support collaborative research and include students in research. It offers internships for Penn graduate and undergraduate students, as well as students from other universities and some internships for high school students.
Dr. Hanlon also directs independent study projects, sometimes to prepare doctoral students for a dissertation that involves more advanced quantitative methodology. In addition to her work at Penn Nursing, she teaches biostatistics and advanced quantitative methods in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Hanlon’s students frequently publish or present their research, including podium presentations at sought-after conferences. Many students graduate with first-authored publications.
Selected Career Highlights
- Reviewer, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and member, PCORI Systems Panel and PCORI Large Pragmatic Trial Panel
- Member, National Governing Board, and officer, Philadelphia chapter, American Statistical Association
- Member, Scientific Review Panel, Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics, Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and other journals
- Abbott, K.M., Prvu-Bettger, J., Hanlon, A., & Hirschman, K.B. (in press). Factors associated with health discussion network size and composition among elderly recipients of long-term services and supports.. Health Communication, .
- Abbott, K.M., Bettger, J.P., Hanlon, A., & Hirschman, K.B. (2012). Factors associated with health discussion network size and composition among elderly recipients of long-term services and supports. Health Communication, 27(8), 784-793 (PMID: 22292979.).
- Patterson, F., Seravalli, L., Hanlon, A., & Nelson, D.B. (2012). Neighborhood safety as a correlate of tobacco use in a sample of urban pregnant women. Addictive Behavior, 37(10), 1132-7 (PMID: 22688344).
- Maselko, J., Hayward, R.D., Hanlon, A., Buka, S., & Meador, K. (2012). Religious service attendance and major depression: a case of reverse causality. American Journal of Epidemiology, 175(6), 576-583.
- Vandergrift, J.L., Gold, J.E., Hanlon, A., & Punnett, L. (2012). Physical and psychosocial ergonomic risk factors for low back pain in automobile manufacturing workers. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 69(1), 29-34.
- Guidera, M., McCool, W., Hanlon, A., Schuiling, K., & Smith, A. (2012). Midwives and liability: Results from the 2009 nationwide survey of certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health , 57(4), 345-352.
- Steis, M.R., Evans, L., Hirschman, K.B., Hanlon, A., Fick, D.M., Flanagan, N., & Inouye, S.K. (2012). Screening for delirium using family caregivers: convergent validity of the family confusion assessment method and interviewer-rated confusion assessment method. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 60(11), 2121-6 (PMID: 23039310).
- Xiao, C., Hanlon, A., Zhang, Q., Ang, K., Rosenthal, D.I., Nguyen-Tan, P.F., Kim, H., Movsas, B., & Bruner, D.W. (2012). Symptom clusters in patients with head and neck cancer receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Oral Oncology, 42676, (PMID: 23168337).10.1016/j.oraloncology.2012.10.004
- Mahmood, U., Hanlon, A.L., Koshy M., Buras, R., Chumsri, S., Tkaczuk, K.H., cheston, S.B., Regine, W.F., & Feigenberg, S.J. (in press). Increasing national mastectomy rates for the treatment of early stage breast cancer. Annals of Surgical Oncology, Nov. 8, (PMID: 23135312).
- Cuellar, N.G., Hanlon, A., & Ratcliffe, S.J. (2011). The relationship with iron and health outcomes in persons with restless legs syndrome. Clinical Nursing Research, 20(2), 144-61 (PMID: 21041807).