Pierrette Lo

Pierrette Lo

Data & Collaborations Project Manager

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

About me

I’m a communicator and project manager with a passion for science. I like asking questions, but having been away from the bench for so long, I haven’t been in a position to investigate the answers. Recently, though, I decided that if I can’t do my own experiments, I could at least get more hands-on with the data. I started teaching myself a little R and SQL in 2017, then fell down the rabbit hole of tidy data, data viz, reproducible research, and open science. Since then, I’ve been working on expanding my skill set and job duties to incorporate these newfound interests.

I’m currently a Data & Collaborations Project Manager in Brian Druker’s leukemia research lab at the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute. My very diverse job duties include managing our lab’s collaborations with pharma/biotech partners; leading our lab’s journey towards reproducible research using open data-science tools; incorporating automation and reproducibility into our data analyses and reports; and helping my colleagues (and myself!) learn to use these tools.


  • R
  • Scientific communication
  • Data visualization
  • Reproducible research
  • Road & gravel biking
  • Knitting
  • Food


  • MS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2002

    University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

  • BSc(Hon) in Cellular, Molecular & Microbial Biology, 1999

    University of Calgary



tidyverse; ggplot; RMarkdown; Shiny


Scientific writing & editing; data visualization & reporting

Project management

Coordinating teams and building communities



Data & Collaborations Project Manager, Brian Druker Lab

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Mar 2019 – Present Portland, OR

I am continuing to serve as project manager for our lab’s industry research partnerships, but with additional data science-related duties, including:

  • Using R, SQL, and other tools to improve data reporting and visualization for our group and our collaborators
  • Helping to develop and implement standards and best practices for reproducible research in our group (data organization, metadata, documentation, workflows, etc.)
  • Providing resources and training for colleagues to learn R, Git, and other open-science tools, and build a community of practice for collaborative learning
  • Building my data science skillset so I can continue to improve my work and my teaching

Data Science Intern

Recentia Health

Jul 2017 – Jun 2018 Portland, OR

This was a part-time internship (in addition to my full-time job at OHSU) at Recentia, a healthcare informatics startup. I worked on several clinical data science projects, including:

  • Preparing and cleaning large clinical datasets using bash, R, and SQL
  • Exploring various methods of subgroup mining using R packages such as mclust, and attempting to write my own optimization algorithm
  • Loading and querying data from a SQL database into network analysis platforms (Neo4j, iGraph in R)
  • Parsing HL7 CDA XML documents to extract data for analysis
  • NLP of free text in patient records using the {tidytext} package, topic modeling, and other approaches

Alliance Manager, Brian Druker Lab

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Dec 2013 – Mar 2019 Portland, OR

I managed industry and academic collaborations for Beat AML, a multi-institutional effort to build and analyze large datasets for leukemia research and translate the findings into precision medicine clinical trials.

My responsibilities included:

  • Facilitating our lab’s interactions with business development, tech transfer, finance, bioinformatics, clinical trials administration, and other groups to identify, initiate, and execute collaborative research projects
  • Managing timelines and milestones for a large number of ongoing projects
  • Writing and editing project reports, grant proposals, slide decks, manuscripts, and other lab communications
  • Organizing stakeholder meetings, including the creation and planning of the annual Beat AML research symposium

Senior Manager, Medical Writing/Medical Affairs

Imedex, LLC (now a subsidiary of HMP Global)

Feb 2010 – Dec 2013 Remote (HQ in Alpharetta, GA)

I managed the production of live and online continuing medical education programs, with a focus on oncology/hematology.

My responsibilities included:

  • Writing educational needs assessments, developing medical/scientific content, and identifying potential supporters using business development intel, clinical research data, and industry trends
  • Collaborating with various teams (medical experts, business development, graphic design, audiovisual, educational outcomes, etc.) to execute quality medical education content at live conferences
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with key opinion leaders, and managing their contributions to and participation in our educational programs

Sep 2002 – Feb 2010

From 2002 to 2010, I held a variety of scientific writing/editing positions, including:

  • Scientific Grant Writer, Texas Heart Institute
  • Associate Scientific Editor, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Copy Editor, Nature Medicine
  • AAAS Science & Engineering Mass Media Fellow


Spirit of the Knight Award

Peer-nominated award recognizing individuals for exceptional embodiment of the Knight Cancer Institute’s guiding principles (in my case, Working as a Connected Team).

BMI 569: Health Data Analytics

Graduate-level course exploring the role of analysts and analytics in healthcare organizations. Hybrid course with directed readings, online discussions, hands-on data analysis, and in-person lectures and labs.

Recent Posts

Playing with {ggplot2} extensions

Making a figure with {patchwork}, {ggtext}, and {ggalt}

Making an R package

Quick-start guide to building an R package

R/Medicine 2020 rundown

Quick list of interesting things from R/Medicine 2020

csv,conf,v5 recap

Rundown of my favourite things at csv,conf,v5

I made a website!

Finally decided to see what this whole {blogdown} thing is about


R4DS Study Group

I’m leading a weekly R for Data Science study group with my coworkers, and I’ve been using this GitHub repo to communicate our schedule and post my notes and exercise solutions.

Vizome Documentation

I created and maintain the documentation for the Vizome data viewer.

Contact me