UCF Alumnus Finds Success in Pharmaceutical Statistics

Dr. Carl DiCasoliDr. Carl DiCasoli, ’04, says while at UCF, he discovered his interest in a statistics career. Originally a computer science major, he switched to statistics after discovering the opportunities in the field.

Dr. DiCasoli graduated from UCF summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in statistics and a minor in mathematics in 2004. He then graduated with his doctoral degree in statistics from North Carolina State University in 2009.

Today, Dr. DiCasoli is a biostatistician at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals in Whippany, New Jersey. He is a global statistics lead on clinical trials in different stages of development; including medical imaging, anti-infective therapeutic areas in pediatric patients, rare cardiovascular disease, and a post-approval trial regarding a women’s health pregnancy medical device. Dr. DiCasoli also develops new statistical methodology, writes papers for academic journals, and travels internationally to present at conferences and workshops.

Dr. DiCasoli admits his career in statistics was unexpected. He began as a classical piano music performance major at the New England Conservatory of Music for two years. He then earned his associate of arts degree in West Palm Beach and transferred to UCF. Dr. DiCasoli decided to change his major from computer science to statistics while taking an introductory statistics class. In the class he learned about the statistics application in the pharmaceutical industry and drug development and decided to pursue that career path.

Dr. DiCasoli shared more on his time at UCF, his position, and offered advice to students and alumni.

How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?

UCF was the place I discovered the opportunity for a career in statistics. Conveniently, the statistics department was connected to the computer science building during the time I attended. Also, attending a large university taught me to be proactive and disciplined as there was no one to ‘hold my hand.’
Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at UCF?

I took piano lessons during my first year at UCF. I was able to play in many of the recitals held in the music hall during that first year, and even finished runner-up in the music department’s competition.

Have you stayed involved with UCF since graduation? If so, how?

I recently attended an alumni networking event in New York this March.

What is your best UCF memory?

My best UCF memories are of the many music concerts I attended. I also attended concerts at Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre by the Orlando Philharmonic and at Stetson. Although Orlando may not be known as a major classical music center such as New York or Boston, I was surprised about how much was actually there.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite aspect of my job is the interaction with team members worldwide, especially in Germany. I enjoyed traveling several times to Germany, once to the Bayer UK site, and a global meeting in the Czech Republic. I believe that we should all be global citizens and work outside of our initial comfort zone.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

My most memorable experience on the job so far is the meeting with our European site investigators and medical doctors in Frankfurt, Germany. I had to explain why my approach would be beneficial through a short presentation. This was very successful and I learned how succinct information can sometimes be better.

Another memorable experience was the first statistics conference that I attended and presented at for the German region of the international biometric society at the University of Dortmund. In graduate school, most of the students were from China, and a few from Korea, Taiwan, and India. I had little chance to interact with statisticians and academics from Europe until quite recently.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

The best piece of advice that I could give to both current students as well as UCF alumni is that in today’s world, we need a more global approach. Technology enables that to be possible. Of course, technology is not entirely a substitute for face-to-face interaction.

 Dr. DiCasoli answered some more questions about himself in our 30 second lighting round of the spotlight.
What was your first paying job?

My first internship was at the National Institute of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. My first paying full time job was at Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago, Illinois.

Who is your favorite musician/band?

For favorite classical musician I would say Vladimir Horowitz. For favorite pop musician, I would say Katy Perry.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would say strawberries.

What movie can you quote word for word?

I don’t believe that I can remember any movie entirely word for word, but I think that the movie Nebraska would be closest to a complete memory.

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