HSPH Biostatistics: News and Updates


Pharmaceutical & Regulatory Sciences Workshop
The Pharmaceutical & Regulatory Sciences Workshop will be held on May 23 from 8:30 AM 5:00 PM with a reception from 5:00 6:00 PM and on May 24 from 8:30 AM 11:00 AM in the Snyder Auditorium at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The workshop will focus on Revitalizing Clinical Trial Methodology and Translational Statistics and will bring together experts from academia, industry, and government agencies to discuss how to improve current statistical and regulatory practice for optimizing drug development and approval. A more detailed description of the workshop can be found on the workshop website at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/prs-workshop/.


Alumnus Melody Goodman Accepted to the Satcher Health Leadership Institute Community Health Leadership Program
The department is proud to announce that Dr. Melody Goodman ('06), Assistant Professor, in the Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Division of Public Health Sciences, has been accepted to participate in the Morehouse School of Medicine Satcher Health Leadership Institute Community Health Leadership Program. The Community Health Leadership Program (CHLP) is a 12 session program, scheduled one day weekly over 12 weeks. Focused on developing community health leaders, the program also includes students from the Morehouse School of Medicine's Masters in Public Health (MPH) Program. The curriculum is interactive and community-based. An important part of the CHLP curriculum is its community-based research and practicum component. The community participants and MPH students partner in developing community projects that must be relevant to community needs, show evidence of sustainability, and impact health disparities. Congratulations to Melody!


Denis Agniel and Xinyi Lin Win 2013 ASA Biometrics Section Travel Awards
The department is proud to announce that doctoral students Denis Agniel and Xinyi Lin are winners of 2013 ASA Biometrics Section Travel Awards. Denis's winning paper (co-authored with Dr. Tianxi Cai) is entitled "Identifying Multiple Regulation in Semi-parametric Regression Models". Xinyi's winning paper (co-authored with Drs. Seunggeun Lee, David C. Christiani and Xihong Lin) is entitled "Tests for Interactions Between a Genetic Marker Set and Environment on Generalized Linear Models". Denis and Xinyi will be recognized for their achievements at the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings in Montreal in early August. Hearty congratulations to Denis and Xinyi!


Stacey Alexeeff Wins 2013 ASA Section on Statistics and the Environment (ENVR) Student Paper Award
The department is proud to announce that doctoral student Stacey Alexeeff is a winner of the 2013 ASA Section on Statistics and the Environment (ENVR) Student Paper Award. Stacey's winning paper (co-authored with Dr. Brent Coull at Harvard and Dr. Ray Carroll at Texas A&M University) is entitled "Bias analysis for the use of spatially predicted air pollution exposures in linear models of air pollution health effects". Stacey will be recognized for her achievement at the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings in Montreal in early August. Hearty congratulations to Stacey!


Kyu Ha Lee Wins 2013 David Byar Investigator Award
The department is proud to announce that postdoctoral researcher Kyu Ha Lee is the winner of the 2013 David Byar Young Investigator Award. Kyu Ha's winning paper (co-authored with Drs. Francesca Dominici and Sebastien Haneuse) is entitled "Bayesian Semi-parametric Analyses of Semi-competing Risks Data". Kyu Ha will present his paper at the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings in Montreal in early August. Hearty congratulations to Kyu Ha!


2013 Marvin Zelen Leadership Award in Statistical Science
It is the department's pleasure to inform you that John J. Crowley, PhD, Group Statistician and Director of the Statistical Center for the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) and President and CEO of Cancer Research And Biostatistics (CRAB), has been chosen as the recipient of the 2013 Marvin Zelen Leadership Award in Statistical Science. John is well-known for his visionary leadership in three areas in which Marvin himself set the standard: i) development of an outstanding statistical center within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) cooperative group program, ii) founding of a non-profit corporation whose mission is to "help conquer cancer through the application of biostatistical principles ", and iii) promotion of statistical science internationally by exporting modern clinical trials methodology to researchers in Asia and Latin America. John is also recognized for his outstanding individual contributions to methodological research in survival analysis, to substantive research on the treatment and prevention of cancer, and to the training, mentoring and inspiring of the next generation of statistical scientists. He has over 350 peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to and edited several books on survival analysis and methodology of clinical trials. Dr. Crowley will receive his award and deliver his lecture here at the School on Friday, May 24, 2013.


HSPH AIDS Initiative profile: Victor DeGruttola
Victor DeGruttola considers it his purpose in life to "develop, apply, and use quantitative methods and quantitative thinking to defend the interest of vulnerable people." His job as Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at HSPH allows him to do those things every day. Read a profile and Q&A from the latest HSPH AIDS Initiative newsletter.


Jennifer Sinnott, Xinyi Lin and Matthew Cefalu win 2013 ENAR Distinguished Student Paper Awards
Doctoral alumna and current postdoctoral fellow Jennifer Sinnott has been selected to receive one of the International Biometric Society's Eastern North American Region (ENAR) Distinguished Student Paper Awards for the 2013 ENAR Spring Meetings in Tampa, FL. The award recognizes her paper entitled: "Pathway Selection and Aggregation using Multiple Kernel Learning for Risk Prediction," co-authored by her dissertation advisor Tianxi Cai. Current doctoral students Xinyi Lin and Matthew Cefalu have also been selected to receive International Biometric Society's Eastern North American Region (ENAR) Distinguished Student Paper Awards at the Spring Meeting. The awards recognize Xinyi's paper entitled: "Test for Interactions between a Genetic Marker Set and Environment in Generalized Linear Models," co-authored by Seunggeun Lee, David Christiani, and her dissertation advisor Xihong Lin, and Matt's paper entitled: "Model Averaged Double Robust Estimation," co-authored by his dissertation advisor Francesca Dominici. Congratulations to Jen and Xinyi and Matt!


Alumnus Samuel McDaniel Starts Project in Jamaica
Sam McDaniel (PhD '07) started an ambitious project in his home country Jamaica in 2011 (see related article). He wanted to prove that students could pass the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) math exam after only two years of high school. So he and two assistants offered to tutor a group of students during those first two years in high school. They will attend two hour classes after school, two afternoons a week. The project was dubbed 'Sam's Accelerated Mathematics Pilot (SAMP)'. Sam, who is a university lecturer at the University of the West Indies, has written a book filled with clear-cut solutions for CSEC mathematics students. We want to wish Sam success with his project, and send best wishes to all of his mathematics students.


Alumnus Thomas LaFramboise Wins Grant Award
The Department wishes to offer our congratulations to one of our alumni, Dr. Thomas LaFramboise, Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences at Case Western University. He has recently received a 4 year grant award from the American Cancer Society for research on Tumor Suppressor Gene Identification in Myeloid Malignancies. All the best with your research, Tom!


Department Welcomes Our Incoming Class
The incoming class to the Department of Biostatistics consists of 28 students. Of the twenty-eight new students, 13 are enrolled in our Ph.D. doctoral program, and 15 in our Master's programs. Of these new degree students, 17 are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and 11 are international students. There are 12 women and 16 men, and their prior degrees are distributed as follows (2 PhD, 9 have a prior Master's degree, 17 enter with Bachelor's degrees). The Department welcomes the new students to our program and wishes them every success during their stay with us and beyond.


The New Faces - (back row: left to right) Kevin Galinsky, David Valken-LeDuc, Daniel Schlauch, Cenk Yildirim, Ye Ting Du, Sixing Chen, Richard Barfield, D.R. Mani, Tianyi Cai, Ryan Sun. (middle row: left to right) Catherine Lee, Katherine Evans, Sarah Anoke, Erin McDonnell, Joo Yeon Kim, Nakul Singh, Paul Mwai, Lida Zhang, Jessica Gronsbell, Boyu Ren (front row: left to right) Emile Yu, Yi Huang, Yan Li, Jack Cackler. (Missing: Andrea Lopez, Keunyoung Oh, Lu Wang, Hong Wen Benedict Wong)

You may view a set of pictures of the incoming class taken from the 2012-2013 Photo Directory (internal only) here when available.



Alumnus Robert L. Strawderman Named IMS Fellow
The department is delighted to announce that Robert L. Strawderman, Professor of Biological Statistics, Statistical Science and Biostatistics, Cornell University, has been named Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). An induction ceremony took place July 11, 2012 at the 8th World Congress in Probability and Statistics in Istanbul, Turkey.

Professor Strawderman received the award for innovative methodological contributions to survival analysis, recurrent events, and small sample asymptotics and their applications; for excellence in editorial service.

Each Fellow nominee is assessed by a committee of his/her peers for the award. In 2012, after reviewing 47 nominations, 17 were selected for Fellowship. Created in 1935, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics is a member organization which fosters the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. The IMS has 4300 active members throughout the world. Approximately 8% of the current IMS membership has earned the status of fellowship.


President Obama honors Curtis Huttenhower with a Presidential Early Career Award
It is a great pleasure to congratulate Curtis Huttenhower and his colleagues for his receipt of Presidential Early Career Award, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. This honor follows closely on the heels of the recognition that Curtis has received for his work on the human "microbiome" — the enormous number of microbial genes existing within the human body — with articles appearing in Nature, Nature Methods, Genome Biology, and Public Library of Science (PLoS) publications. More information about his work and the honor he has received are available on the HSPH website.


Congratulations Graduates!
The Department of Biostatistics would like to offer their congratulations and best wishes to our students who graduated in the 2012 Spring Commencement ceremony. Receiving a Doctorate of Philosophy degree were Kaustubh Adhikari, Brian Claggett, Rain Cui, Gourab De, Jessie Hsu, Lauren Hund, Jessica Larson, Quanhong Lei, Miguel Marino, Roland Matsouaka, Jessica Minnier, Layla Parast, Anna Snavely, Tamar Sofer, Alisa Stephens, Alfa Yansane, and Sihai Dave Zhao. Receiving a Doctor of Science degree in both Epidemiology and Biostatistics was Yen-Tsung Huang. Receiving a Master of Science degree were Marie-Abele Bind, Hasmik Alvrtsyan, Xiaopeng Cai, Leslie Calloway, Chia-Yen Chen, Amy Johnson Graves, Alexander Grigorenko, Vagheesh Narasimhan, Ankit Rastogi, and Alice Wong. Denis Agniel, Matthew Cefalu, Tristan Hayeck, Matey Neykov, Yered Pita Juarez, Ritesh Ramchandani, Jaclyn Scholl, Elizabeth Smoot, Adam Sullivan, Krista Watts, and Florence Yong received Master of Arts degrees. We wish our graduates much success in the future!

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