Laina Mercer holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of Washington. Her dissertation research was related to statistical methods for space-time smoothing of surveillance and complex survey data with applications in demography and public health. While at the University of Washington, Laina was a fellow at the Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology and she served as Chair of Statistics in the Community (StatCom), a student-run volunteer organization which provides statistical consulting services free of charge to non-profit community and governmental groups. Laina also holds an MS in Biostatistics from the University of Washington and a BS in Mathematics from Western Washington University. She worked for 2 years at Seattle Children's Research Institute in the Children's Core for Biomedical Statistics, specifically in medical research for pediatric transplantation and surgery. She also spent 2 years at Fred Hutch in the Tobacco & Health Behavior Science Research Group, investigating behavioral interventions for smoking cessation.
As a member of IDM's analysis and model usage center, Laina is working to support polio eradication efforts through statistical modeling of programmatic, clinical trial and cluster survey data. Laina is most interested in how diverse data sources can be used in a timely fashion to inform public health policy decisions.