Interdisciplinary Grant in Biostatistics
 


Fellows

Careers






FELLOWS

Current Fellows (2012-2013)

Richard Barfield is a first year student in the doctoral program. He is currently working on his course work and is enrolled in BIO251 Statistical Inference II and BIO512 Introduction to Computational Biology. Because of his prior Master's degree, he took and passed the departmental written qualifying exam in early 2013 (during his first year here).

Emma (Holdrich) Schwager is a second year student in the doctoral program. She passed the departmental written qualifying exam in early 2013 and took BIO235 Regression and Analysis of Variance and BIO250 Probability Theory and Applications II in fall 2012. During the summer Emma completed one of her dry lab rotations with Curtis Huttenhower. They investigated co-occurrence and co-variance patterns in the human microbiome using data from the Human Microbiome Project. They conducted one of the first analyses of species-level ecological interactions among members of the human microbiome. Using relative abundance data from over 100 subjects at six body sites from the Human Microbiome Project, they determined statistically significant co-occurrence (qualitative) and co-variance (quantitative) relationships among species in these habitats. The statistical method developed accounts for the underlying compositional data structure. Co-occurrence relationships were detectable primarily among low-abundance microbes, which could thus be confidently absent from a substantial portion of samples. Additionally, they found that many species within the same genera have positive co-variance relationships, suggesting a combination of species-specific niche specialization and general environmental favorability. Emma has also completed her wet lab rotation with Dr. Sarah Fortune working with mycobacteria in spring 2012.

This fall Emma presented her poster, "species-level co-variance and co-occurrence patterns in the human microbiome" at Lake Arrowhead Conference in Microbial Genomics, Lake Arrowhead, CA.

Shelley Liu is a second year student in the doctoral program. She passed the departmental written qualifying exam in early 2013. The courses she plans to take this academic year are: BIO249 Bayesian Methodology, BIO235 Regression and Analysis of Variance, EPI221 Pharmacoepidemiology, GHP211 Management Control in Health Organizations, BIO245 Multivariate/Longitudinal Data Analysis, BIO 214 Clinical Trials, and BIO512 Introduction to Computational Biology. During the summer Shelley completed one of her dry lab rotations with Victor DeGruttola on a project that involved studying viral transmission dynamics. She is developing methods for estimation and bias-correction of viral genetic linkage analysis in the presence of missing data. Shelley is using phylogenetic methods to conduct her analyses, and is currently working on a multiple imputation approach that incorporates a biological model for the diversification of viral genomes. Shelley has also completed her wet lab rotation with John Quackenbush learning about the design, implementation and analysis of sequencing projects in spring 2012.

This summer Shelly presented her poster titled "Impact of Biological Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease and Education on Cognitive Trajectories in Non-Demented Older Adults" at the Joint Statistical Meetings in San Diego, CA. She also plans to present her poster titled, "Viral Genetic Linkage Analyses in the Presence of Missing Data" at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting that will be held in Boston in February 2013.

Godwin Yung is a second year student in the doctoral program. He passed the departmental written qualifying exam in early 2013. The courses he plans to take this academic year are: BIO235 Regression & Analysis of Variance, BIO249 Bayesian Methods in Biostatistics, BIO250 Probability Theory and Applications II, BIO244 Analysis of Failure Time Data, BIO245 Analysis of Multivariate and Longitudinal Data, and BIO251 Statistical Inference II. Godwin was recently trained in experimental approaches of transcription factors (gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, cloning, and protein binding microarray). He completed his wet lab rotation with Dr. Martha Bulyk that dealt with experimental approaches used in the determination of DNA binding specificities of TFs. Godwin has also completed both of his dry lab rotations. The first was with Dr. Martha Bulyk developing quantitative approaches used in experimental approaches used in the determination of DNA binding specificities of TFs. His second dry lab rotation was with Xihong Lin working on developing a test for rare variant effects on secondary traits in case-control sequencing studies.

Akweley Ablorh is a third year student in the Epidemiology doctoral program. The courses she plans to take this academic year are EPI205 Practice of Epidemiology, EPI300 Independent Study- Thesis Research, ID206 Scientific Writing, BIO226 Applied Longitudinal Analysis, WGH250 Embodying Gender: Public Health, Biology and the Body Politic, BIO245 Analysis of Multivariate and Longitudinal Data, EPI511 Advanced Population and Medical Genetics, and BIO515 Measurement Error and Misclassification.

Her research centers on methods to analyze high throughput data in multiple populations. Population stratification is one of the most common sources of bias in large genetic studies. Akweley's research will test and develop methods to increase statistical power for disease associations despite multiple testing of low frequency and rare alleles specifically in the context of breast cancer risk.

This fall Akweley presented, "Breast Cancer Risk and Rare Variants" at the Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology Seminar Series.