Yu Shyr Wins Jacek Hawiger Award
May 24, 2012 | Bill Snyder
Jacek Hawiger Award for Teaching Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows in the Classroom, Lecture or Small Group Setting — Yu Shyr, Ph.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, professor of Biostatistics, Biomedical Informatics, Cancer Biology and Preventive Medicine.
Shyr earned his bachelor’s degree in statistics from Tamkang University, Taiwan, in 1985, and his doctorate in biostatistics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1994. That year he was recruited to Vanderbilt as assistant professor and chief biostatistician for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. He was promoted to full professor in 2003, and currently directs the Center for Quantitative Sciences. He also is associate director for Quantitative Sciences Integration in the Cancer Center.
With more than 275 peer-reviewed papers to his credit, Shyr is an internationally recognized authority in the field of quantitative science, particularly in the areas of omics research and clinical trial design. As an educator, he is described by colleagues and former students as a charismatic teacher who finds innovative ways to make complex statistical concepts accessible.
For several years, he has taught the Clinical Trials course to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and medical students in the Master of Public Health (MPH) and the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) programs. He consistently receives among the highest reviews from students in terms of instructor effectiveness, with comments such as “best course I have ever taken” and “fantastic instructor.” Shyr’s engaging style encourages participation and curiosity on the part of his students.
In addition to being meticulously prepared, Shyr is dedicated to his students. He is known to give out his cell phone number and email address, encouraging students to contact him at any time if they have questions or problems with the course material.
Shyr’s brilliance in the classroom extends far beyond Vanderbilt. He has taught workshops throughout the world, from Belgium and Saudi Arabia to China and Malaysia to Japan and Taiwan. He has developed Web-based clinical trials training courses for Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and taught courses of advanced clinical trials for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.