Ronald Thisted, PhD


Ronald Thisted's major research interests are in the areas of biostatistics and epidemiology, statistical computation, and effectiveness of medical interventions.

  • Study regression methods for paired data with ordered categorical outcomes, problems of multiple inference in clinical trials, methods for combining information (meta-analysis) concerning diagnostic tests such as those used in nuclear medicine, and assessment of causal relationships associated with rare but catastrophic events such as sudden death in children.
  • Current work in statistical computation includes data structures for bibliographic databases, electronic publishing, computational aspects of meta-analysis, and improved design of Monte Carlo studies.
  • Works related to health outcomes include comparative assessment of prognoses that result from different treatments for prostate cancer; assessment of effectiveness for prostate-specific antigen tests for screening, diagnosis, and follow-up of prostate cancer; short- and long-term effectiveness of treatments for degenerative disease of the lumbar spine; and relative benefits of SPECT imaging relative to standard diagnostics in epilepsy and dementia.


  • Ph.D. (Statistics) 1977, Stanford University
  • M.S. (Statistics) 1973, Stanford University
  • B.A. (Philosophy, Mathematics) 1972, Pomona College


  • Gulati, Martha, Henry R. Black, Leslee J. Shaw, Morton F. Arnsdorf, C. Noel Bairey Merz, Michael S. Lauer, Thomas H. Marwick, Dilip K. Pandey, Roxanne H. Wicklund, and Ronald A. Thisted. "The Prognostic Value of a Nomogram for Exercise Capacity in Women." New England Journal of Medicine 353, no. 5 (2005): 468--75.
  • Gulati, M, MF Arnsdorf, LJ Shaw, DK Pandey, RA Thisted, D Lauderdale, R Wicklund, AJ Al-Hani, and HR Black. "Prognostic Value of the Duke Treadmill Score in Asymptomatic Women." American Journal of Cardiology 96 (2005): 369--75.
  • Levinson, Wendy, Audiey Kao, Alma M Kuby, and Ronald A Thisted. "The Effect of Physician Disclosure of Financial Incentives on Trust." Archives of Internal Medicine 165, no. 6 (2005): 625--30.
  • Levinson, Wendy, Audiey Kao, Alma Kuby, and Ronald A Thisted. "Not All Patients Want to Participate in Decision-Making. A National Study of Public Preferences." Journal of General Internal Medicine 20, no. 6 (2005): 531--35.
  • Marona-Lewicka, Danuta, Ronald A. Thisted, and David E. Nichols. "Distinct Temporal Phases in the Behavioral Pharmacology of Lsd: Dopamine D(2) Receptor-Mediated Effects in the Rat and Implications for Psychosis." Psychopharmacology 180 (2005): 427--35.
  • Brooks, BR, RA Thisted, SH Appel, WG Bradley, RK Olney, JE Berg, LE Pope, and RA Smith. "Treatment of Pseudobulbar Affect in Als with Dextromethorphan/Quinidine: A Randomized Trial." Neurology 63 (2004): 1364-70.
  • Smith, Richard A, James E Berg, Laura E Pope, and Ronald A Thisted. "Measuring Pseudobulbar Affect in Als." Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Disorders Sep;5 Suppl 1 (2004): 99--102.
  • Smith, Richard A, James E Berg, Laura E Pope, JD Callahan, D Wynn, and Ronald A Thisted. "Validation of the Cns Emotional Lability Scale for Pseudobulbar Affect (Pathological Laughing and Crying) in Multiple Sclerosis Patients." Multiple Sclerosis 10 (2004): 679--85.
  • Thisted, R. A. "Are There Social Determinants of Health and Disease?" Perspect Biol Med 46, no. 3 Suppl (2003): S65-73.
  • Worcester, E., J. H. Parks, M. A. Josephson, R. A. Thisted, and F. L. Coe. "Causes and Consequences of Kidney Loss in Patients with Nephrolithiasis." Kidney Int 64, no. 6 (2003): 2204-13.
  • Gulati M, Pandey DK, Arnsdorf MF, Lauderdale DS, Thisted RA, Wicklund RH, Al-Hani AJ, Black. Exercise capacity and the risk of death in women: the St James Women Take Heart Project. Circulation, 108(13): 1554-9 (2003).
  • Smith AD and Borys N. SPECT perfusion imaging in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: a clinical-pathologic study. Neurology, 56(7): 950-956 (2001).
  • Lauderdale, D. S., R. A. Thisted, M. Wen, and M. J. Favus. "Bone Mineral Density and Fracture among Prevalent Kidney Stone Cases in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." J Bone Miner Res 16, no. 10 (2001): 1893-8.
  • Sacks SL, Thisted RA, Jones TM, Barbarash RA, Mikolich DJ, Ruoff GE, Jorizzo JL, Gunnill LB, Katz DH, et al. Clinical efficacy of topical docosanol 10% cream for herpes simplex labialis: A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol, 45(2): 222-230, (2001).
  • Lauderdale, D. S., R. A. Thisted, and J. Goldberg. "Is Geographic Variation in Hip Fracture Rates Related to Current or Former Region of Residence?" Epidemiology 9, no. 5 (1998): 574-7.
  • Devous MD Sr, Thisted RA, Leroy RF, and Rowe CC. SPECT brain imaging in epilepsy: a meta-analysis. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 39(2): 295-293 (1998).
  • Gerber, G. S., R. A. Thisted, P. T. Scardino, H. G. Frohmuller, F. H. Schroeder, D. F. Paulson, A. W. Middleton, D. B. Rukstalis, J. A. Smith, P. F. Schellhammer, M. Ohori, and G. W. Chodak. "Results of Radical Prostatectomy in Men with Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer." JAMA 276, no. 8 (1996): 615-9.
  • Biederman J, Thisted RA, Greenhill L, Ryan ND. Estimation the association between desipramine and the risk for sudden death in 5 to 14-year old children. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 87-93 (1995).
  • Chodak, G. W., R. A. Thisted, G. S. Gerber, J. E. Johansson, J. Adolfsson, G. W. Jones, G. D. Chisholm, B. Moskovitz, P. M. Livne, and J. Warner. "Results of Conservative Management of Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer." N Engl J Med 330, no. 4 (1994): 242-8.
  • Benca, R. M., W. H. Obermeyer, R. A. Thisted, and J. C. Gillin. "Sleep and Psychiatric Disorders. A Meta-Analysis." Arch Gen Psychiatry 49, no. 8 (1992): 651-68; discussion 69-70.
  • Thisted, R, and B Efron. "Did Shakespeare Write a Newly-Discovered Poem?" Biometrika 74 (1987): 445-55.
  • Efron, B, and R A Thisted. "Estimating the Number of Unseen Species: How Many Words Did Shakespeare Know?" Biometrika 63 (1976): 435-47.


  • Applied Linear Statistical Methods (Stat 343)
  • Categorical Data Analysis (HS 326/Stat 226)
  • Essentials of Patient Oriented Research
  • Epidemiology and Clinical Investigation (HS 541)


  • Professor, Department of Statistics and the College
  • Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care
  • Professor, Committee on Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics
  • Member, Institute for Mind and Biology
  • Co-Director, Clinical Research Training Program
  • Scientific Director, Biostatistics Core Facility, University of Chicago Cancer Research Center

Ronald Thisted's Statistics Department web site