Introducing Our New Co-Editor, Dr. Clair Robbins
Last updated: Jan 23, 2021
Since my last post, we’ve all had an eventful past year—to say the absolute least. I hope y’all are managing well, and are finding time to stay healthy and be together while following public health guidelines as best you can to help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and incidence of COVID-19.
I was laid off in March 2020 from my job due to COVID-19. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise: That June, I started as a Lead Biostatistician (and honorary Data Scientist) at Evidation Health! Evidation is a digital health startup striving “to enable and empower everyone to participate in better health outcomes”.
I’d wanted to work for Evidation since at least early 2018, if not earlier. Their mission, ethics, and approach aligned quite well with my own—and they seemed exceptionally keen to explore and implement esametric methods. Now in my 8th month as an Evidation employee, I’m happy to report this all to be absolutely true. I am over the moon with this professional development.
Clair Robbins, PhD
I’m also excited to introduce Dr. Clair Robbins, our new Stats-of-1 Co-Editor! Dr. Robbins and I will work together to set Stats-of-1 objectives that help advance our Mission, and implement agendas to meet these objectives. We also plan to post regularly on the first Monday of each month.
We were introduced through a mutual acquaintance, Dr. Jessee Dietch, whom I’d met at a Society for Behavioral Medicine Sleep Special Interest Group Research Series virtual meeting. I followed up with Dr. Dietch afterwards, and she immediately recognized that her friend Dr. Robbins could be a potential contact and collaborator because of her extensive work in single case design.
I asked Clair to share her thoughts on the following questions.
How’d you get into n-of-1 studies and single-case designs?
I truly got into single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) in graduate school. I actually first learned about these methods in an undergraduate research class but I didn’t believe they were helpful because I thought they didn’t include enough subjects (my understanding of sample size and statistics was very limited at that time). In graduate school I was mentored by Dr. David H. Barlow who literally wrote the book on using SCED methods in clinical psychology. Through working with him I came to understand the elegance and power behind these methods and I’ve been a fan ever since! I collaborated on a number of SCED studies as a graduate student, my dissertation was a SCED study, and now I am PI on a postdoctoral training grant using SCED methods.
What do you envision for Stats-of-1?
My hope for Stats-of-1 is that it can help researchers and lay audiences understand the power of these methods and use them more in their own work. I think there are a lot of persistent myths about N-of-1 and SCED studies that we can address in order to help folks truly understand the utility of these methods. I hope that by presenting these methods and showcasing how they are used across disciplines, Stats-of-1 can facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration on powerful, impactful research studies.
Anything else you’d like to share from your own story-of-1?
I was once a skeptic too! It took me a while to understand how we can draw causal conclusions from idiographic studies and just how powerful these methods can be. I think both idiographic and nomothetic research methods have an important role to play in science and I hope I can contribute to Stats-of-1’s mission to advance use of idiographic methods across disciplines.
You can learn more about Dr. Robbins in her bio on our Your Hosts page.