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Dr. Huiying Sun: Advancing Health’s extraordinary statistician

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Dr. Huiying Sun

‘Kind’, ‘supportive’, and ‘dedicated’ are often enthusiastically used to describe Dr. Huiying Sun, a Senior Statistician who has been working at Advancing Health since 2000.

Dr. Huiying Sun

After graduating with a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Harbin Institute of Technology, China, Dr. Sun moved to Vancouver. Upon completing a Master’s in Statistics at the University of British Columbia, she joined a growing Advancing Health, which had only been established a few years earlier. Her background in math immediately made her an indispensable member of the statistics team, especially when it came to problem-solving and teaching others new methodology. She dedicated time to understand advanced statistical techniques and guided colleagues, trainees, and Scientists to ensure the highest quality work was being done.

Throughout Dr. Sun’s extensive career, she has contributed to countless Advancing Health projects, primarily working with Advancing Health Director Dr. Aslam Anis’s team. Among her project highlights is the high-profile trial OPTIMA — a multinational, randomized, open, control, clinical management trial of treatment strategies for patients with multidrug-resistant HIV and advanced immune disease. She was responsible for all the statistics coming from Canada’s study contributions, which not only involved working closely with international statisticians, but also required significant training and regulatory measures to be able to access non-Canadian data. Her statistical expertise and dedication to excellence supported the OPTIMA team, including Advancing Health’s Drs., Nick Bansback, Bohdan Nosyk, and Daphne Guh, and led to several publications.

One trait consistently praised by her colleagues is Dr. Sun’s dedication to producing high quality work, regardless of how difficult it might be. Statistics is a challenging field integral in analyzing results in medical research. Performing in-depth statistical analysis on large data sets can often appear daunting when trying to answer population and public health questions. Her love of teaching others made Dr. Sun the go-to person for colleagues, trainees, and Scientists to help get the most accurate and best data for their research. She also enjoyed tackling the statistics teams’ most difficult technical problems.

While working at Advancing Health for more 20 years, Dr. Sun also supported the growth of several current Scientists who initially worked with her as trainees or early investigators. For example, Drs. Nick Bansback, Bohdan Nosyk, and Wei Zhang worked with Dr. Sun throughout their graduate studies, providing them with support and guidance. After becoming official Advancing Health Scientists, Dr. Sun continued working closely with Drs. Bansback and Zhang, publishing several articles with each of them on their respective fields of decision analysis and cost-effectiveness modeling and productivity loss measurement and valuation. Her invaluable advice and knowledge have supported the countless Advancing Health projects through the decades, enabling it to become the leader in evaluation and outcome sciences it is today.

Loved, celebrated, and valued among all who work with her, Dr. Huiying Sun was recently recognized at Advancing Health’s inaugural Outstanding Colleague Recognition Awards, where she was nominated for her invaluable contributions to the workplace at both a professional and personal level. Although we will miss her dearly, we wish Dr. Sun a wonderful retirement.

Dr. Huiying Sun surrounded by her colleagues at an Advancing Health holiday event