PhD Candidate Lemoto Receives Early-Career Award

Elaona Lemoto, a PhD candidate in biostatistics  and bioinformatics, has been awarded an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Early-Career Award from the Society for Clinical Trials (SCT).

She is one of four awardees who will be recognized during the society’s 2024 annual meeting held May 19-22 in Boston. The awardees will have the opportunity to network with SCT leadership and members of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.

Lemoto focuses her research on clinical trial data, in particular network meta-analysis, which involves comparing several medical treatments at once. In her work, she has noticed a lack of racial diversity in clinical trial data, which she said affects researchers’ ability to understand diseases that affect marginalized communities.

She hopes to find ways to fill that gap. One approach is to combine electronic health records with randomized control trials, which she said will allow for a more heterogenous or representative understanding of treatment effects.

Each year, SCT's ED&I Committee chooses early-career award recipients to help promote a diverse SCT membership. Each awardee receives complimentary meeting registration, a one-year membership, and a $1,600 grant for travel and hotel expenses to attend the annual meeting.

Lemoto said she is looking forward to learning at the annual meeting how others in the biostatistics field are working with marginalized communities to increase diversity in clinical trial data.

“My hope is that we as a department and as a field can continue to prioritize health disparities and bring about even more methods to address them,” she said. “It's a major issue across the board. Hopefully, I can keep these connections and continue to work toward a bigger goal.”