The PharmaSUG conference is put on by a team of all volunteers. These are individuals who have a passion for the industry and the work they do. They donate their time and effort to make the conference a success. Because of this dedication we would like to recognize these individuals in a series of “Getting to Know Your PharmaSUG Committee” articles. In the articles, we will highlight these individuals for their hard work, knowledge and the responsibilities they have to the conference.

Louise Hadden, Kriss Harris and Lida Gharibvand

It takes all sorts of people to organize a conference. But one thing true about our next featured individuals is that they all have a love of travel and adventure. In our next article of the series “Getting to Know Your PharmaSUG Committee”, we would like to introduce you to our Head Data Tech Lifeguard, Louise Hadden, our First Timer Co-coordinator, Kriss Harris and Lida Gharibvand Artificial Intelligence Section Co-Chair.

Louise grew up EVERYWHERE. She moved 18 times in her first 20 years, and no, she wasn’t in a military family. With the constant moving she developed a life-long love of travel and appreciation of different ways of life. Her childhood paved the way for her to leave the United States for her college years in Canada. While at McGill, she played varsity women’s ice hockey (right winger) and the team had to raid a local peewee team’s equipment to outfit her since she was so undersized.

Louise first used SAS on the Athena computer at MIT when she was a first-year law student at BU law school. Her eventual husband was a grad student at MIT; and needed to do some data processing for his thesis. She fell heads over heels at first PROC and has been using SAS for social science research ever since, while raising three children. Louise’s love for SAS even prompted her to get a tattoo. She is known as the ‘Girl with the SAS tattoo’.

Even with her love of SAS, Louise takes time to tend to her other loves, reading and dogs. She is a voracious reader (as an eight-year old she would take a “granny cart” to the town library for her week’s allotment of reading – approximately 30 books). In her spare time, she volunteers at with WGBH, the public television station in the greater Boston area, and with the MSPCA Boston Adoption Center.

Kriss currently resides in England but likes traveling and adventure. A few years ago, he turned up at the airport to go to Shanghai, China, without realizing that he would first need to have a Visa to enter China, and that to obtain a Chinese Visa in England takes at least four days. Because he was so looking forward to attending PharmaSUG China, and being an adventurous person, he headed to Hong Kong. After all, from what he heard it was possible to get a same day Chinese Visa from Hong Kong, and off he went to Hong Kong to obtain his Chinese Visa! Kriss loved his experience so much that he ended up being the Academic Chair for PharmaSUG China in 2019. Talk about going full circle!

One of his favorite projects using SAS was when he learned to draw a Venn Diagram in SAS because he got to solve a relatively big problem for the GSK biologists. At the time, they were using PowerPoint to draw the diagrams after performing the calculations in Excel. Another reason for this being his favorite project is that it catapulted him into the SAS Global Forum (SGF) space and allowed him to present at his first event SGF in 2008.

Dr. Lida Gharibvand is the Director, Statistics and Research Education and Associate Professor at Loma Linda University. Ever since childhood she has shown strong interest in mathematics which has evolved into a strong focus on data analytics, information technologies and computer sciences. Her introduction to SAS was when she started her master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Nevada. Her first SAS conference was PharmaSUG 2007 in Denver and ever since she has attended WUSS, SAS Global Forum and other local users group meetings. Lida serves as the president of her local SAS users’ group and is on the leadership council of the local chapter of American Statistical Association (ASA).

Lida loves to travel to different continents across the world. She has visited 31 countries and many states in the U.S. She loves poetry and horseback riding.

Although PharmaSUG 2020 has been canceled, we will continue to highlight the conference committee over the months. If you would like to see who else is on the team, visit our Conference Committee page.

Past Committee Highlights

Craig Brelage (Operations Chair) and Gary Moore (Academic Chair)

Nancy Brucken (Webmaster, Mobile App Coordinator, Document Coordinator) and Josh Horstman (Webmaster, PharmaBucks Coordinator)

Richann Watson (Social Media Coordinator, Webmaster, Mobile App Coordinator) and Soumya Rajesh (Social Media Coordinator)

DeDe Schreiber-Gregory (Documents Coordinator, Printed Material Coordinator) and Philip Gregory (Photographer)