“When you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence.”
Harvey Co Chien was introduced to Pittsburgh by a good friend studying at Pitt when he decided to move from the Philippines to attend Pitt Public Health. Obtaining his MS Degree in Biostatistics in 1987, Harvey completed his Master’s thesis on developing an analytic module for OCMAP (Occupational Cohort Mortality Analysis Program) under his advisor, Professor Gary Marsh. In 1989, a paper on this module was published in the American Statistician while Harvey was working at Westat. This same OCMAP Software won an Innovator Award at the University's 14th Annual Celebration of Innovation.
After looking for a meaningful way to give back to the University, he decided to create an endowed fund for Master’s students in the Pitt Biostatistics program. Noting that international students are at a particular disadvantage by not being able to apply for student loans to cover school costs, he thought back to when he was a teaching assistant and how funding allowed him to finish his degree here. It took him by surprise that there were no existing endowed scholarships to help graduate students within the department. Harvey decided this was an opportunity to invest in recruiting and educating the very best students; giving them a top-notch education, while developing character and teaching integrity in the field. “It was a dream of mine to give back to the school.”
Harvey Co Chien spent nearly a decade with Westat, Inc. upon his graduation from Pitt Public Health, working on biostatistics and epidemiology projects and studying cancer risk factors. Later, he collaborated with Alza Corporation (a Johnson and Johnson Company) on drug delivery technology for children with ADHD, after which he became an associate director at InterMune. In 2007, he founded his own biostatistics consulting company, Synerstat. Harvey’s research interests include CNS, inflammation/pain/abuse liability, cancer risk factors, urology, hepatology and pulmonology. His expertise also encompasses controlled and observational studies, clinical trials, and the development of computer software. He is currently retired and resides in San Francisco, California.
The Harvey Co Chien Endowed Scholarship for Biostatistics was established to support students pursuing master's degrees in the Department of Biostatistics.