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William Wilkinson, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Research Methodology & Statistics

Department of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics


Dr. Wilkinson is Professor Emeritus of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the School of Medicine at Duke University and a former director of the Duke Clinical Research Training Program. With his leadership skills and devotion to education, he was instrumental in building this training program into an extraordinary resource to train clinical researchers who operate at the frontiers of increasingly complex and constantly changing fields. He served on the program’s leadership team for over 25 years.

Dr. Wilkinson graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and completed his PhD in mathematical statistics at UNC-Chapel Hill, after which he joined the faculty at Duke University, where he remained until his formal retirement 45 years later. He provided the leadership for the development in 1983 of the Biometry Training Program, one of the first formal academic training programs in clinical research methodology for clinical investigators. This program, now known as the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP), was expanded in 1998 to include clinical fellows and other health professionals at the National Institutes of Health, where CRTP courses are offered by means of interactive videoconferencing from Duke, supplemented by web-based instructional materials in a blended model of distance learning.

In 2004, an online certificate program, the Online Core in Clinical Research (OCCR) was developed under Dr. Wilkinson’s leadership as part of a collaboration with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Although OCCR was developed for a reproductive medicine audience, it was designed in such a way that it could be adapted to other disciplines and learner groups. Since 2009, Dr. Wilkinson has offered an adapted version of this online curriculum to post-graduate physician-trainees at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya under the auspices of the Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health.