Pamela A. Shaw, PhD, MS


“My research focuses on the development of statistical methods for the proper design and analysis of clinical trials and complex epidemiologic investigations. Specific areas of interest include survival analysis, methods to address measurement error, infectious disease, aging research, cancer, and physical activity and nutritional epidemiology.”

Pamela A. Shaw, PhD, MS

Senior Biostatistics Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Pamela Shaw, PhD, MS, is a biostatistician with expertise in clinical trials, design and analysis of complex epidemiologic studies, measurement error, and survival analysis. Dr. Shaw’s current statistical research includes a focus on methodology to correct for covariate and outcome measurement error, with application to studies reliant on electronic health records and large observational cohort studies.  She is currently applying these methods to study the relationship between maternal weight trajectories during pregnancy and early childhood outcomes, as well as to identify risk factors for poor outcomes in several cohorts of patients with HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Shaw is also involved in studies of aging, behavioral intervention studies, and the use of biomarkers to calibrate self-reported nutritional intake and physical activity. She is co-investigator in a clinical trial that will assess whether an anti-inflammatory diet can improve cognition in a middle-aged (40- to 65-year-old) multi-ethnic urban population relative to a usual diet. She is an investigator for the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, a joint project between Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and the University of Washington that focuses on risk factors for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and declines in memory and thinking. For this study, she is collaborating with other ACT investigators to understand the best way to quantify patterns of physical activity in the 24-hour day and its association with health outcomes.

Before joining KPWHRI as a senior investigator, Dr. Shaw was an associate professor of biostatistics in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. At UPenn she taught in the biostatistics graduate program and was the lead statistician for several early phase clinical trials, including studies of CART19, a novel CAR T cell immune therapy for the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia and other blood cancers, as well as clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy of behavioral economic interventions to increase healthy behaviors.  She co-authored the textbook Essentials of Probability Theory for Statisticians (CRC Press 2016).

Prior to UPenn, she was a mathematical statistician in the Biostatistics Research Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where she was lead statistician for several clinical and basic science studies of human infectious and immunologic disease.

Dr. Shaw is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics at the University of Pennsylvania and an affiliate professor in the Department of Biology and Wildlife at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is associate editor for Statistics in Medicine. She serves as a member for several clinical trial data safety monitoring boards and as a member of the Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She is a member of the International Biometric Society and fellow of the American Statistical Association.

She completed a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and French at Grinnell College, and a Master of Science in mathematics and a doctorate in biostatistics at the University of Washington.

Recent Publications

Bien-Gund CH, Shaw PA, Agnew-Brune C, Baugher A, Brady KA, Gross R; NHBS Study Group. HIV self-testing and risk behaviors among men who have sex with men in 23 US cities, 2017. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Dec 1;5(12):e2247540. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.47540. PubMed

Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Shaw PA, Hakun JG, Katz MJ, Wylie-Rosett J, Sliwinski MJ. Multicultural healthy diet to reduce cognitive decline & Alzheimer's disease risk: Study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 Nov 14;124:107006. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2022.107006. PubMed

Herman JD, Wang C, Burke JS, Zur Y, Compere H, Kang J, Macvicar R, Taylor S, Shin S, Frank I, Siegel D, Tebas P, Choi GH, Shaw PA, Yoon H, Pirofski LA, Julg BD, Bar KJ, Lauffenburger D, Alter G. Nucleocapsid-specific antibody function is associated with therapeutic benefit from Covid-19 Convalescent plasma therapy. Cell Rep Med. 2022 Nov 15;3(11):100811. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100811. Epub 2022 Oct 24. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Oxtoby LE, Shaw PA, Budge SM, Wooller MJ, de Baca TC, Krakoff J, Votruba S, O'Brien DM. Carbon isotope ratios of plasma and RBC fatty acids identify meat consumers in a 12-week inpatient feeding study of 32 men. J Nutr. 2022 Sep 12;nxac213. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxac213. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Li Y, Hwang WT, Maude SL, Teachey DT, Frey NV, Myers RM, Barz Leahy A, Liu H, Porter DL, Grupp SA, Shaw PA. Statistical considerations for analyses of time-to-event endpoints in oncology clinical trials: illustrations with CAR-T immunotherapy studies. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Jul 15:CCR-22-0560. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-22-0560. Online ahead of print. PubMed


New funding

Senior male patient with doctor in exam room

Grant of over $55M to boost Alzheimer’s, dementia study

Kaiser Permanente Washington will co-lead an expanded ACT Program to better understand the aging brain.


illustration nurse and patient mammogram

Roundup of 3 recent studies on breast cancer screening

New research spotlights overdiagnosis, MRI before surgery, and a new way of predicting breast cancer risk