Skip to main content

Laird, Nan M.



  • Existence: 1943-


Nan Laird (born 1948), Ph.D., Harvard University, 1975, B.S., University of Georgia, is a professor of Biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She served as Chair of the Department from 1990 to 1999. She was the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Biostatistics from 1991 to 1999. Dr. Laird is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, as well as the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. She is a member of the International Statistical Institute. Dr. Laird’s major research interest in the development of statistical methodology is four primary areas: analysis of multiple informant data, missing or incomplete data, longitudinal studies and statistical genetics. She has worked extensively in the Analysis of Family Based Studies in Genetics, and currently collaborates on genetic studies in bipolar disorder, asthma and lung disease. Dr. Laird is well known for many seminal papers in biostatistics applications and methods, including the expectation-maximization algorithm. She is a highly cited author, and her honors include the Purdue University Myra Samuels Lecturer award (2004), the Janet L. Norwood Award (2003), and F.N. David Award (2001) from the American Statistical Association, and several other fellowships. Dr. Laird announced her semi-retirement from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2015.