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Katherine McLaughlin is a statistical detective of sorts, employing sampling and data analysis methods to identify and understand hard-to-reach or hidden populations. An assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at Oregon State University, McLaughlin’s work explores a large number and wide variety of at-risk populations around the globe and involves collaborations with epidemiologists, statisticians, and public health officials.
Last summer the onset of the pandemic drove her statistical research towards a different direction. McLaughlin was appointed co-principal investigator with Oregon State University’s nationally recognized TRACE-COVID-19 project. She is TRACE’s lead researcher on providing statistical analyses and guidance. In this role, McLaughlin develops robust and innovative sampling designs and data analyses for community testing, as well as dissemination of public facing results for TRACE-OSU.