May 5, 2016


When Smith Anderson, a Raleigh, N.C., law firm, considered a way to honor Dennis Gillings in 2009, they decided on a gift close to Dr. Gillings’ heart – support for young biostatisticians. As a member of the UNC biostatistics faculty for 17 years and co-founder of Quintiles in 1982, Gillings became a role model for success in the field. Now, the Smith Anderson Biostatistics Fellowship Endowment supports one biostatistics student each year at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

In 2015, when Gillings retired as executive chairman of Quintiles, Smith Anderson again sought a way to honor Gillings’ impressive career. The firm elected to establish the Dennis Gillings Leadership Endowment Fund, which will expand upon the support first pledged to the Gillings School with the establishment of the biostatistics fellowship. The new fund aims to encourage innovation Schoolwide and accelerate solutions to a variety of public health issues that demand nimble responses.

smith_anderson_logo“Smith Anderson has worked with Dennis Gillings and his executive team for almost 25 years,” said managing director Gerald Roach. “During that time, we have seen North Carolina – and the Research Triangle Park, in particular – become a global commercial center. Dennis and Quintiles were a big part of that evolution.

“In North Carolina – and the world – Dennis has created jobs, innovative health solutions and new business successes. He cares deeply about patients, employees and making the communities of the world better through health-care innovation.

“When he stepped down as executive chairman at Quintiles, it seemed a perfect time, once again, to honor his creativity and impact. We want more public health students, inspired by Dennis, to be able to make a difference in North Carolina, the U.S. and the world.”

Briana Stephenson, doctoral student in biostatistics at the Gillings School, is a recipient of the Smith Anderson fellowship.

“This fellowship allowed me the flexibility to explore the many research opportunities The Gillings School has to offer,” Stephenson says. “I am so grateful for the financial support that has allowed me to pursue my interests in biostatistics – where I hope to make my mark furthering methodological research in public health.”

Watch a video of Stephenson talking about her experience at the Gillings School.

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Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. To view previous issues, please visit sph.unc.edu/cph.