Arnold K. Chan

An interview with Arnold K. Chan, MD, ScD, FISPE




Please provide a brief overview of your career and current position


Academic career in Asia before Harvard faculty, then consulting work. Now back in Asia doing academic research.  


Please tell us about the early years of ISPE


In 1988 began graduate program at Harvard, learned about sub-discipline called pharmacoepidemiology. Began to work with Alec Walker. First attended ICPE in Anaheim.


What were those early ICPE meetings like?


Much smaller, no parallel tracks. Meeting was small so it was easier to do the networking. 


What are your fondest memories of the ICPE meetings?


Close knit nature of the meetings, talking with the presenters


Were you very active in ISPE at the early meetings?


Didn’t participate until became a faculty member much later in the late 90’s. 


What roles and impact have you had at ISPE?


Served as a board member for several years. Representing academics from North America. 


Recent years- involvement with global development committee. Would like to expand activities in other parts of the world. Central Europe, S Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa- would become more a truly global international society.


Does ISPE have a significant presence in Asia?


Have seen need for more pharmacoepi input as regulatory atmosphere has matured in certain countries. 


How has ISPE supported your career development?


ISPE has provided subsidy for Asian meetings over the years. Attracting those who would otherwise would not be able to attend the meeting.


In what other ways have you impacted pharmacoepi?


Co-edited the textbook with Bram Hosmer and Hugh Tilson. First edition with therapeutic risk management incorporated.


How did Therapeutic Risk Management become part of ICPE?


Intense discussion on the board about whether to widen focus beyond traditional epi (strength of association b/w drug and outcome), to how to mitigate risks.


Gave society much more room to grow. Name of the organization did not change but the name of the conference did. 


What do you feel is ISPE’s greatest impact on the field


Society where all practicing pharmacoepidemiologists come together- senior management, and people on ground, industry, academia, and government. 


How has ISPE impacted you professionally and personally?


Indispensable, professionally, as a home for the discipline- a neutral platform for public health minded professionals who have an interest in drug safety, regardless of sector


How do you think ISPE’s culture compares with other professional societies?


Collegial- people come together not to compare quality of research, but to collectively decide how to solve problems. 


What have you enjoyed most about ICPE meetings?


Meeting friends, discussing how to expand boundaries to participants who have not been involved before. 


What wisdom would you like to pass to future leaders and members of ISPE?


See the continued effort to make it into a truly global society. Maintain this collegial atmosphere. 


Do you have any other comments you would like to make?


Encourage everyone interested in this discipline, career, to be heavily involved in the society.

With support from Epi Excellence LLC.


ISPE Interview
Open to view video.
Open to view video.