Michael D. Murray

An interview with Michael D. Murray, PharmD, MPH, FISPE





Please provide a brief overview of your career and current position


Professor of Pharmacy at Purdue University and Principal at Regenstreif Institute work on longitudinal EHR records since 1979 (with Tom MacDonald) 


Please tell us about the early years of ISPE


At 2nd meeting- Small, cordial group, very good and fun start to ISPE


How did you first hear about ISPE?


Flyer from Hugh Tilson went to head of my Department- interested because of ongoing questions about how to use EMR data. 


Did attendees consider themselves pharmacoepidemiologists at the time?


Membership survey in 1990-91- many considered themselves PEists even though they were in diverse roles across academia, industry, and regulation.


What do you remember about your first ICPE meeting?


Cordial and fun group of people- wanted to know more than just what you did at work.


Did you attend ICPE from then on?


Have attended all but a few.  


How have you seen ISPE grow and develop over the years?


Not very many methodologists at the beginning- many have fused into the group over time and now have a very strong methods group


Were you a part of forming ISPE?


Started attending meetings before society formed, was an early board member in the 1990s, when a lot of the strategic planning was happening. 


Can you reflect on the creation of by-laws and the early formation of the society?


Handful of people that knew how to handle bylaws, and familiar with forming really strong organizational structures


What has been your impact on ISPE?


Chair of the membership committee in the 1990s- doing membership surveys and learning about diversity of cultures within membership, as a result. 


How has being part of ISPE impacted you, personally or professionally?


“Rounded me off”- new efficiencies, strong methods, paying attention to the best methodologies.


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


Clinical Epidemiology (and David Sackett’s book) is the basic science for medicine. Pharmacoepidemiology not that far behind. Identification of biases that can creep into studies. 


What impact has Regenstreif had on pharmacoepi?


Idea that the EMR needed to be more medical. Instead of keeping track of costs and charges, computerization of medicine needs to facilitate the chart. 


Not just biomedical informatics, but also health services research group, and geriatrics group. 


How have you affected pharmacoepi?


Spent a lot of time developing methods to remove the noise and preserve the signal in observational medical data. 


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


Continue developing and refining methods to reduce bias in studies. Gaining valuable insights by getting outside the realm of what you do day-to-day- physics, medicine, clinical pharmacology.  


What do you see as the future of ISPE?


Industry, regulatory agency, and academia came together to create a strong strategic plan that still resonates with what we are trying to do today. 


Do most people who came to ICPE in the beginning continue to attend?


Many core individuals still come, who were influential from the beginning- Michael Lewis, Ulf Bergman, Hugh Tilson, Stan Edlavich, Jerry Avorn, Alec Walker, Elizabeth Andrews


Can you recall any seminal moments for ISPE?


Infusion of new individuals that have been trained in organizational work- Mark Epstein- guidance in planning and management. 

With support from Epi Excellence LLC.

ISPE Interview
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