Faculty Profile

Brenda Gillespie

Brenda Gillespie, PhD

  • Research Associate Professor, Biostatistics
  • Associate Director, CSCAR

Brenda Gillespie provides statistical collaboration and support for numerous research projects at the University of Michigan. She teaches Biostatistics courses as well as CSCAR short courses in survival analysis, regression analysis, sample size calculation, generalized linear models, meta-analysis, and statistical ethics. Her major areas of expertise are clinical trials and survival analysis.

  • PhD, Statistics, Temple University, 1989
  • MS, Statistics, Ohio State University, 1975
  • BA, Mathematics, Earlham College, 1972

Research Interests:
My research interests are in the area of censored data and clinical trials. One research interest concerns the application of categorical regression models to the case of censored survival data. This technique is useful in modeling the hazard function (instead of treating it as a nuisance parameter, as in Cox proportional hazards regression), or in the situation where time-related interactions (i.e., non-proportional hazards) are present. An investigation comparing various categorical modeling strategies is currently in progress. Another area of interest is the analysis of cross-over trials with censored data. I have developed (with M. Feingold) a set of nonparametric methods for testing and estimation in this setting. Our methods out-perform previous methods in most cases.

Research Projects:
Applications of survival analysis in novel settings: (a) the use of survival analysis to improve methodology for the analysis of age at first partner abuse in women by censoring at age of interview for those who had not experienced abuse. This method improved estimates of the cumulative probability of abuse at each age over previous crude methods. (b,c) survival methods for left-censored data, i.e., values below a limit of detection, (d) use of left truncation of survival times when time-dependent covariate data were missing or unavailable prior to a known time, and (e) comparing the bias in four ways to 'complete' the Kaplan-Meier estimator.

Rigorous standards for study conduct and statistical methods for clinical trials: (a) the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS), (b) a trial of a powerful new antiviral treatment for hepatitis C virus as part of the Adult-to-adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study (A2ALL), (c) a trial of alternative medicine treatments for heart failure, and (d) a trial of acupressure for classroom alertness carried out by a graduate course in clinical trials.

Methods of statistical analysis in research involving kidney disease (a-d) and liver transplantation (e). (a) investigated the relationships between biomarkers, cardiovascular risk factors and patient outcomes, and (b) tested serum sodium levels as a predictor of patient outcomes using survival analysis with time-dependent covariates. (c) investigated the relationships of heart rate variability and pulse wave velocity as predictors of outcomes including mortality. (d) presents a comparison of kidney transplant outcomes across 3 continents. (e) presents a unique comparison of data elements collected twice on the same patients, made possible by two studies that independently collected much of the same data from the same patients; one, an unfunded federal mandate to submit data, and the other, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Yoshihama M, Gillespie BW. Age adjustment and recall bias in the analysis of domestic violence data: Methodological improvements through the application of survival analysis methods. Journal of Family Violence. 2002; 17(3):199-221.

Gillespie BW, Chen Q, Reichert H, Franzblau A, Hedgeman E, Lepkowski J, Adriaens P, Demond A, Luksemburg W, Garabrant DH. Estimating population distributions when some data are below a limit of detection by using a reverse Kaplan-Meier estimator. Epidemiology. 2010 Jul;21 Suppl 4:S64-70. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181ce9f08. PubMed PMID: 20386104.

Jaspers VL, Herzke D, Eulaers I, Gillespie BW, Eens M. Perfluoroalkyl substances in soft tissues and tail feathers of Belgian barn owls (Tyto alba) using statistical methods for left-censored data to handle non-detects. Environ Int. 2013 Feb;52:9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2012.11.002. Epub 2012 Dec 23. PubMed PMID: 23266911

Shrivastwa N, Gillespie BW, Lepkowski JM, Boulton ML. Vaccination Timeliness in Children under India's Universal Immunization Program. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Sep;35(9):955-60. PMID:27195601

Gillespie BW, Gillespie JA, Iglewicz B. A comparison of the bias in four versions of the product-limit estimator. Biometrika. 1992; 79:149-155.

Lichter PR, Musch DC, Gillespie BW, Guire KE, Janz NK, Wren PA, Mills RP; CIGTS Study Group. Interim clinical outcomes in the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study comparing initial treatment randomized to medications or surgery. Ophthalmology. 2001 Nov;108(11):1943-53. PubMed PMID: 11713061.

Everson GT, Terrault NA, Lok AS, Rodrigo del R, Brown RS Jr, Saab S, Shiffman ML, Al-Osaimi AM, Kulik LM, Gillespie BW, Everhart JE; Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study. A randomized controlled trial of pretransplant antiviral therapy to prevent recurrence of hepatitis C after liver transplantation. Hepatology. 2013 May;57(5):1752-62. doi: 10.1002/hep.25976. Epub 2013 Jan 17. PubMed PMID: 22821361; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3510348.

Zick SM, Vautaw BM, Gillespie B, Aaronson KD. Hawthorn Extract Randomized Blinded Chronic Heart Failure (HERB CHF) trial.Eur J Heart Fail. 2009 Oct;11(10):990-9. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfp116. PubMed PMID: 19789403; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2754502.

Harris RE, Jeter J, Chan P, Higgins P, Kong FM, Fazel R, Bramson C, Gillespie B. Using acupressure to modify alertness in the classroom: a single-blinded, randomized, cross-over trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Aug;11(4):673-9. PubMed PMID: 16131291.

Hinderliter A, Padilla RL, Gillespie BW, Levin NW, Kotanko P, Kiser M, Finkelstein F, Rajagopalan S, Saran R. Association of carotid intima-media thickness with cardiovascular risk factors and patient outcomes in advanced chronic kidney disease: the RRI-CKD study. Clin Nephrol. 2015 Jul;84(1):10-20. PMID: 26042415.

Han SW, Tilea A, Gillespie BW, Finkelstein FO, Kiser MA, Eisele G, Kotanko P, Levin N, Saran R. Serum Sodium Levels and Patient Outcomes in an Ambulatory Clinic-Based Chronic Kidney Disease Cohort. Am J Nephrol. 2015; Apr 8;41(3):200-209. PMID: 25871915.

Chandra P, Sands RL, Gillespie BW, Levin NW, Kotanko P, Kiser M, Finkelstein F, Hinderliter A, Rajagopalan S, Sengstock D, Saran R. Relationship between heart rate variability and pulse wave velocity and their association with patient outcomes in chronic kidney disease. Clin Nephrol. 2014 Jan;81(1):9-19. PMID:24356038

Merion RM, Goodrich NP, Johnson RJ, McDonald SP, Russ GR, Gillespie BW, Collett D. Kidney transplant graft outcomes in 379 257 recipients on 3 continents. Am J Transplant. 2018 Mar 24. PMID:29573328

Gillespie BW, MerionRM, Ortiz-RiosE, TongL, ShakedA, BrownRS, OjoAO, HayashiPH, Berg CL, AbecassisMM, Ashworth AS, Friese CE, Hong JC, Trotter JF, Everhart JEand the A2ALL Study Group. Database comparison of the Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study (A2ALL) and the SRTR US transplant registry. Am J Transplant. 2010; 10(7):1621-1633. PMID: 20199501.

Email: bgillesp@umich.edu
Phone: 734-223-9834
Fax: 734-647-2440

Address: 3550 Rackham Bldg
915 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Areas of Expertise: Biostatistics