Lucy D’Agostino McGowan


propensity score analyses, R package development, observational study methods, sensitivity to unmeasured confounding, predictive modeling, large-scale inference, R-Ladies, engaging beginners in R package development with rOpenSci through contributr, disparities research, community-based participatory research


Vanderbilt University PhD in Biostatistics, May 2018, GPA 3.95
Thesis: Improving Modern Techniques of Causal Inference: Finite Sample Performance of ATM and ATO Doubly Robust Estimators, Variance Estimation for ATO Estimators, and Contextualized Tipping Point Sensitivity Analyses for Unmeasured Confounding

Washington University School of Medicine MS in Biostatistics, December 2013, GPA 3.88
Thesis: Quantitative Assessment of the Community Research Fellows Training Program

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill BA with Distinction and Highest Honors
Religious Studies: GPA 3.92 Romance Languages: GPA 3.86

Research Experience

2019-present Wake Forest University
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

2018-2019 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Postdoctoral fellow with Jeffrey Leek

2017 March-August RStudio
Internship under Jenny Bryan developing the googledrive R package

2016-2017 Vanderbilt University
NIH Big Data to Knowledge Training Fellow
Training included attending three courses in the computer science department (Algorithms, Topics in Big Data, & Program Design and Data Structures for Scientific Computing), as well as collaborating on methods development for large scale statistical inference and sensitivity to unmeasured confounding analyses.

2015-2016, 2017-2018 Vanderbilt University
Research Assistant, Department of Biostatistics and VA Tennessee Valley
Perform statistical analyses and large-scale inference on a retrospective national cohort of 411,055 Veterans Health Administration patients. Experience with manipulating and analyzing large datasets, as well as integrating data from multiple sources, such as the National Death Index, Medicare, and Medicaid. Current focus is the association between diabetes medications and congestive heart failure.

2015 Summer Cleveland Clinic
Summer Graduate Fellow, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Worked under Nancy Obuchowski on multi-reader multi-case ROC analyses. Conducted a examining the effect of location bias in two large MRMC ROC studies, comparing three ROC scoring methods. Compared one method that only uses the maximum confidence score and does not take location bias into account (maxROC), and two methods that take location bias into account: the region of interest ROC (ROI-ROC) and the free-response ROC (FROC).

2013 Summer Graham Colditz Laboratory
Summer Intern, Washington University School of Medicine
Created custom labor curves based on women in labor’s individual characteristics. Obtained model estimates and 95% confidence intervals for the custom labor curves using bootstrap resampling methods.

2012-2014 Washington University School of Medicine
Research Assistant, Gutmann Research Laboratory, Department of Neurology
Performed microarray analysis using programs such as R and Partek to determine unique transcripts. Worked with researchers to prioritize transcripts for validation.

2012-2014 Washington University School of Medicine
Statistical Data Analyst, Department of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences
Began as a research assistant and promoted to statistical data analyst position. Experience in planning and executing analytical projects. Lead survey data manager for Center for Outpatient Health Study focusing on health literacy. Performed statistical analyses including univariate, bivariate, multivariate, and mixed methods. Extensive SAS experience in analyzing large datasets including data step processing, data manipulation, macro creation, data mining, regression analyses, survival analyses, and two-time winner of SAS Student Ambassador award.


2020 JupyterCon Invited Keynote Speaker
2019 Winning team, ASA Leadership Challenge
2018 Vanderbilt Biostatistics Travel Award (ENAR)
2017 NASA Datanauts, Class of 2017
2017 useR!2017 Young Academic Scholarship
2017 Caucus for Women in Statistics Travel Award
2016 First Place, GSS Student Data Challenge, ASA Joint Statistical Meeting
2016 Second Place, SPAAC Poster Competition, ASA Joint Statistical Meeting
2016 Southern Startup Internship Program in Data Science (South BDHub)
2016 Vanderbilt Commodore Award in Biostatistics
2015 First Place, GSS Student Data Challenge, ASA Joint Statistical Meeting
2015 Prezi Student Ambassador
2014 SAS Student Scholar, PharmaSUG
2014 SAS Student Ambassador, SAS Global Forum 2014
2013 First Place, Student Research Competition, 141st APHA Annual Meeting
2013 Ellis R. Ott Scholarship: ASQ Statistics Division
2013 Best Contributed Paper in the Statistics and Data Analysis Section at SAS Global Forum
2013 SAS Student Scholar, NESUG
2013 SAS Student Ambassador, SAS Global Forum 2013
2012 Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship for Women in Statistics Honorable Mention
2012 NIAF Jim Cantalupo Scholarship
2011-2012 National Society of Leadership and Success
2011 Dunlevie Honors Undergraduate Research Award
2010 Programma Ponte Scholarship
2010 Newman Scholar
2009-2012 UNC Dean’s List
2008-2012 UNC Public Service Scholar


2019-2021 Casual Inference Podcast co-host, sponsored by the American Journal of Epidemiology
2017-2018 President, Vanderbilt Biostatistics Graduate Student Association
2017-2018 Abstract reviewer, R-Ladies Global
2016-2019 Co-founder, Co-organizer, R-Ladies Nashville
2016-2017 President, Vanderbilt Graduate Student Council
2016-2017 Vice President, Vanderbilt Biostatistics Graduate Student Association
2016 useR Student Volunteer
2015-2016 Tutor, Tennessee Office of Refugees
2015 Scholar, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
2014-2015 Vice President of Social Affairs, Vanderbilt Graduate Student Council

Professional Activities

Professional Service

2020-2021 Committee member, ENAR Program Committee
2020-2021 Member, ENAR Regional Advisory Board
2020-2021 Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Communications Officer
2020 Vice-chair, Chair-elect, ASA Committee on Women in Statistics
2020 Chair, ASA Committee on Women in Statistics
2019-2021 ASA Council of Sections Representative, Section on Statistical Computing
2019-2021 Associate Editor (Social Media), The American Journal of Epidemiology
2019-2021 Committee member, ASA Computing and Graphics Student Paper Award Selection Committee
2019 Committee member, ASA Committee on Women in Statistics
2019 Interim Program Chair, ASA Statistics Communication Interest Group
2018 Committee member, Women in Statistics and Data Science Service Project
2017-2018 President, Nashville ASA Student Chapter
2017 Panelist, Inaugural ASA Student Chapter Workshop
2016-2017 Vice President, Co-founder, Nashville ASA Student Chapter
2014 Abstract reviewer, Applied Public Health Statistics, American Public Health Association


  • Biostatistics
  • The American Statistician
  • BMJ Open
  • rOpenSci
  • American Journal of Epidemiology
  • Statistics in Medicine
  • Journal of the Royal Statistical Society
  • Nature Biotechnology
  • PLOS One

Teaching Experience

University Courses

Wake Forest University

  • (Spring) STA 363: Statistical Learning (2020)
  • (Fall) STA 312: Linear Models (2020)
  • (Fall) STA 363: Statistical Learning (2020)
  • (Fall) STA 212: Statistical Modeling (2019)

Vanderbilt University

  • Frank Harrell’s Regression Modeling Strategies (2017)
  • Statistical Collaboration in Health Sciences Teaching Assistant (2015)
  • Modern Regression Analysis Teaching Assistant (2015)
  • Principles of Modern Biostatistics Teaching Assistant (2015)

Washington University in St. Louis

  • Introduction to SAS Teaching Assistant (2013)
  • Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology Teaching Assistant (2013)
  • Randomized Controlled Trials Teaching Assistant (2013)

Online Courses

Invited Presentations

Oral Presentation Wake Forest University Business Intelligence and Analytics Meeting Februrary 2021
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Hill’s Criteria for the Data Scientist.”
Oral Presentation R-Ladies Baltimore 2021
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Let’s get meta: analyzing your R code with tidycode.”
Workshop ASA K-12 Virtual Workshops 2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan and Shannon Ellis, “Using RStudio Cloud in the Classroom.”
Oral Presentation ENAR 2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Tools for analyzing R code the tidy way.”
Panel eCOTS 2020
Laura Le, Kari Lock Morgan, Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Panel: Engaging Students during the COVID-19 Health Crisis.”
Oral Presentation SDSS 2020
Lucy D’Agositno McGowan, “Best Practices for Teaching R A Randomized Controlled Trial.”
Oral Presentation ASA Joint Statistical Meeting 2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “The Ups and Downs of Communicating Complex Statistics.”
Panel NC School of Science and Math Data Science Panel 2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Data Science at Wake Forest University.”
Keynote JupyterCon 2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Equipping and empowering future data scientists with confidence, intuition, and communication skills.”
Oral Presentation CDC R Group 2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “ConTESSA: A Shiny App to Help Quantify Contact Tracing Efficacy.”
Oral Presentation Wake Forest School of Medicine Methods Conference 2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Applied Demonstration of the tipr R Package.”
Workshop user!2020
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan and Malcolm Barrett, “Causal Inference in R.”
Workshop R in Governement Conference
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan and Malcolm Barrett, “Causal Inference in R.”
Workshop ENAR 2019
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Data Visualizations with ggplot2.”
Oral Presentation Macalester College 2019
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “There and back again, a data scientist’s tale.”
Oral Presentation ASA Joint Statistical Meeting 2019
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Challenges in Augmenting Randomized Trials with Observational Health Records.”
Oral Presentation ENAR 2018
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Robert A. Greevy, Jr, “Exploring finite-sample bias in propensity score weights.”
Oral Presentation Data Day Texas 2018
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Making Causal Claims as a Data Scientist: Tips and Tricks Using R.”
Oral Presentation ASA Joint Statistical Meeting 2018
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Harnessing the Power of the Web via R Clients for Web APIs.”
Oral Presentation SAS Global Forum 2017
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Streamline Your Workflow: Integrating SAS, LaTeX, and R into a Single Reproducible Document.”
Oral Presentation R-Ladies Nashville 2017
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “An R + GitHub Journey.”
Oral Presentation SAS Global Forum 2016
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Robert A. Greevy, Jr, “Integrating SAS and R to Perform Optimal Propensity Score Matching.”
Oral Presentation SAS Global Forum 2015
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Alice Toll, “Using PROC SURVEYREG and PROC SURVEYLOGISTIC to Assess Potential Bias.”
Oral Presentation SAS Global Forum 2014
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Melody S. Goodman, Kimberly A. Kaphingst, “Using SAS/STAT® Software to Validate a Health Literacy Prediction Model in a Primary Care Setting.”

Contributed Presentations

Oral Presentation rstudio::global 2021
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Designing Randomized Studies using Shiny.”
Oral Presentation ENAR 2017
Lucy D’Agositno McGowan, Robert Alan Greevy, Jr, “Simplifying and Contextualizing Sensitivity to Unmeasured Confounding Tipping Point Analyses.”
Oral Presentation useR!2017
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Nick Strayer, Jeff Leek, “papr: Tinder for pre-prints, a Shiny Application for collecting gut-reactions to pre-prints from the scientific community.”
Speed (Oral + Poster) Presentation ASA Joint Statistical Meeting 2017
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Robert A. Greevy, Jr, “Contextualizing Sensitivity Analysis in Observational Studies: Calculating Bias Factors for Known Covariates.”
Panel Women in Statistics and Data Science 2017
Jenny Bryan, Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Gabriela de Queiroz, Mine Dogucu, Katherine Scranton, Jennifer Thompson, “R-Ladies Panel: Improving gender diversity in a male-dominated community.”
Poster ASA Joint Statistical Meeting 2016
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Robert A. Greevy, Jr, “Practical Guidance and Tools for Rule-Out Sensitivity to Unmeasured Confounding Analyses.”
Oral Presentation ASA Joint Statistical Meeting 2016
Ryan Jarrett, Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “Assessing the Association Between Accident Injury Severity and NCAP Car Safety Ratings”."
Speed (Oral + Poster) Presentation ASA Joint Statistical Meeting 2015
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Alice Toll, “Census Tract-Level Disparities: Examining Food Swamps and Food Deserts.”
Poster 141st American Public Health Association Annual Meeting 2013
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Melody S. Goodman, “Developing County-Level Estimates of Racial Disparities in Obesity Using Multilevel Reweighted Regression.”
Oral Presentation 141st American Public Health Association Annual Meeting 2013
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Melody S. Goodman, “Small Areal Estimation of Racial Disparities in Diabetes Using Multilevel Reweighted Regression.”
Poster SAS Analytics 2013
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Patrick J. McGowan, “Mining Through Resumes: Utilizing SAS to Increase Efficiency and Objectivity in the Hiring Process.”
Poster Northeast SAS Users Group 2013
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, “SAS ® for Budgeting an Ideal Wedding.”
Oral Presentation Northeast SAS Users Group 2013
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Melody S. Goodman, “Using PROC GLIMMIX and PROC SGPLOT to Demonstrate County-level Racial Disparities in Obesity in North Carolina.”
Oral Presentation SAS Global Forum 2013
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Melody S. Goodman, “Multilevel Reweighted Regression Models to Estimate County-Level Racial Health Disparities Using PROC GLIMMIX.”


Author & Maintainer

pald: An R package to calculate partioned local depth (PaLD) probabilities for clustering

tipr: An R package with tools for conducting tipping point sensitivity analyses.

googledrive: An R package that interfaces with Google Drive from R, allowing users to seamlessly manage files on Google Drive from the comfort of their console.

contributr: A Shiny Application developed in collaboration with Maelle and rOpenSci for finding beginner GitHub issues to contribute to.

papr: Tinder for pre-prints, a Shiny Application developed in collaboration with Jeff Leek and Nick Strayer for collecting gut-reactions to pre-prints from the scientific community


datasauRus: An R package made in collaboration with Steph Locke consisting of The Datasaurus Dozen, a set of datasets with the same summary statistics. They retain the same summary statistics despite having radically different distributions. The datasets represent a larger and quirkier object lesson that is typically taught via Anscombe’s Quartet.

meetupr: An R package authored and maintained by R-Ladies to interface with the Meetup API


cowsay: An R package that allows printing of character strings as messages/warnings/etc. with ASCII animals, including cats, cows, frogs, chickens, ghosts, and more.

RJafroc: And R package for analyzing data acquired using the Receiver Operating Characteristic paradigm and its extensions.


  1. Liberman JS, D’Agostino McGowan L, Greevy RA, Morrow JA, Griffin MR, Roumie CL, Grijalva CG (2020). “Mental health conditions and the risk of chronic opioid therapy among patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a retrospective veterans affairs cohort study.” Clinical Rheumatology, 1-10.

  2. Fox MP, D’Agostino McGowan L, James BD, Lessler J, Mehta SH, Murray EJ (2020). “Concerns About the Special Article on Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin in High Risk Outpatients with COVID-19 by Dr. Harvey Risch.” American Journal of Epidemiology.

  3. D’Agostino McGowan L, Kross S, Leek J (2020). “Tools for Analyzing R Code the Tidy Way.” The R Journal, 12(1), 226-242. doi: 10.32614/RJ-2020-011 (URL:

  4. D’Agostino McGowan L, Grantz K, Murray EJ (2020). “Quantifying Uncertainty in Infectious Disease Mechanistic Models (In Press).” American Journal of Epidemiology.

  5. ^Cohen JB, ^D’Agostino McGowan L, Jensen E, Rigdon J, South AM (2020). “Evaluating Sources of Bias in Observational Studies of ACE Inhibitor/ARB Use During COVID-19: Beyond Confounding (In Press).” Journal of Hypertension.

  6. Pun BT, Balas MC, Barnes-Daly MA, Thompson JL, Aldrich JM, Barr J, Byrum D, Carson SS, Devlin JW, Engel HJ, Esbrook CL, Hargett KD, Harmon LR, Hielsberg C, Jackson JC, Kelly TL, Kumar V, Millner L, Morse A, Perme CS, Posa PJ, Puntillo KA, Schweickert WD, Stollings JL, Tan A, D’Agostino McGowan L, Ely EW (2019). “Caring for critically ill patients with the ABCDEF bundle: results of the ICU liberation collaborative in over 15,000 adults.” Critical care medicine, 47(1), 3-14.

  7. Singh DP, Gabriel A, Silverman RP, Griffin LP, D’Agostino McGowan L, D’Agostino Jr RB (2019). “Meta-analysis Comparing Outcomes of Two Different Negative Pressure Therapy Systems in Closed Incision Management.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, 7(6).

  8. Wickham H, Averick M, Bryan J, Chang W, D’Agostino McGowan L, François R, Grolemund G, Hayes A, Henry L, Hester J, Kuhn M, Pedersen TL, Miller E, Bache SM, Müller K, Ooms J, Robinson D, Seidel DP, Spinu V, Takahashi K, Vaughan D, Wilke C, Woo K, Yutani H (2019). “Welcome to the tidyverse.” Journal of Open Source Software, 4(43), 1686. doi: 10.21105/joss.01686 (URL:

  9. Griffin L, Carter M, D’Agostino Jr R, D’Agostino McGowan L (2019). “Comparative Effectiveness of Two Collagen-containing Dressings: Oxidized Regenerated Cellulose (ORC)/Collagen/Silver-ORC Dressing Versus Ovine Collagen Extracellular Matrix.” Wounds: a compendium of clinical research and practice, 31(11), E73.

  10. Blume JD, D’Agostino McGowan L, Dupont WD, Greevy Jr RA (2018). “Second-generation p-values: Improved rigor, reproducibility, & transparency in statistical analyses.” PloS one, 13(3), e0188299.

  11. Murff HJ, Roumie CL, Greevy RA, Hackstadt AJ, D’Agostino McGowan L, Hung AM, Grijalva CG, Griffin MR (2018). “Metformin use and incidence cancer risk: evidence for a selective protective effect against liver cancer.” Cancer causes & control : CCC, 27(10), 1-10.

  12. D’Agostino McGowan L, Roumie CL (2018). “Sulfonylureas as second line treatment for type 2 diabetes.” BMJ, 362.

  13. D’Agostino McGowan L (2018). Improving Modern Techniques of Causal Inference: Finite Sample Performance of ATM and ATO Doubly Robust Estimators, Variance Estimation for ATO Estimators, and Contextualized Tipping Point Sensitivity Analyses for Unmeasured Confounding. Ph.D. thesis, Vanderbilt University.

  14. Roumie CL, Min JY, D’Agostino McGowan L, Presley C, Grijalva CG, Hackstadt AJ, Hung AM, Greevy RA, Elasy T, Griffin MR (2017). “Comparative safety of sulfonylurea and metformin monotherapy on the risk of heart failure: a cohort study.” Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(4), e005379.

  15. D’Agostino McGowan L, Bullen JA, Obuchowski NA (2016). “Location bias in ROC studies.” Statistics in Biopharmaceutical Research, 8(3), 258-267.

  16. Drake BF, Brown K, D’Agostino McGowan L, Haslag-Minoff J, Kaphingst K (2016). “Secondary consent to biospecimen use in a prostate cancer biorepository.” BMC research notes, 9(1), 346.

  17. Kaphingst KA, Stafford JD, D’Agostino McGowan L, Seo J, Lachance CR, Goodman MS (2015). “Effects of racial and ethnic group and health literacy on responses to genomic risk information in a medically underserved population.” Health Psychology, 34(2), 101.

  18. Chen Y, D’Agostino McGowan L, Cimino PJ, Dahiya S, Leonard JR, Lee DY, Gutmann DH (2015). “Mouse low-grade gliomas contain cancer stem cells with unique molecular and functional properties.” Cell reports, 10(11), 1899-1912.

  19. D’Agostino McGowan L, Stafford JD, Thompson VL, Johnson-Javois B, Goodman MS (2015). “Quantitative evaluation of the community research fellows training program.” Frontiers in public health, 3, 179.

  20. Colditz GA, D’Agostino McGowan L, James AS, Bohlke K, Goodman MS (2014). “Screening for colorectal cancer: Using data to set prevention priorities.” Cancer Causes & Control, 25(1), 93-98.

  21. Diggs-Andrews KA, Brown JA, Gianino SM, D’Agostino McGowan L, Rubin JB, Wozniak DF, Gutmann DH (2014). “reply.” Annals of neurology, 75(5), 800-801.

  22. Fisher MJ, Loguidice M, Gutmann DH, Listernick R, Ferner RE, Ullrich NJ, Packer RJ, Tabori U, Hoffman RO, Ardern-Holmes SL, Hummel TR, Hargrave DR, Bouffet E, Charrow J, Bilaniuk LT, Balcer LJ, D’Agostino McGowan L, Liu GT (2014). “Gender as a disease modifier in neurofibromatosis type 1 optic pathway glioma.” Annals of Neurology, 75(5), 799-800.

  23. Griffey RT, Kennedy SK, D’Agostino McGowan L, Goodman M, Kaphingst KA (2014). “Is low health literacy associated with increased emergency department utilization and recidivism?” Academic Emergency Medicine, 21(10), 1109-1115.

  24. D’Agostino McGowan L, Gennarelli RL, Lyons SA, Goodman MS (2013). “Using small-area analysis to estimate county-level racial disparities in obesity demonstrating the necessity of targeted interventions.” International journal of environmental research and public health, 11(1), 418-428.