Harvard Catalyst 2016 Summary

The Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program had another productive year under the directorship of Professor Rebecca Betensky.  The 29 Catalyst statisticians provided over 875 consultations to investigators at 28 Harvard-affiliated institutions.  Our consultants were instrumental in helping the investigators receive over 30 grants and publish over 75 papers in peer reviewed journals.

We also continued to offer short courses (with about 75-100 attendees each session) in which an expert in an area of statistical methodology teaches theory, applications and software implementation that is intended to be relevant and useful in the clinical and translational arena.  Dr. Cyrus Mehta of Cytel Software Corporation and Harvard Biostatistics and colleagues taught a four-part short course on Modern Clinical Trials, which focused on the design of Phase I, II, and III clinical trials.  We also held a two-part short course, Latent Variable Modeling and Measurement, in which Karen Bandeen-Roche and Qian-Li Xue of Johns Hopkins University introduced latent variable modeling with a primary focus on quantitative approaches to complex measurement and a secondary focus on regression (“structural” modeling).

Each year, the Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program organizes an annual symposium organized around a disease area.  This year, we chose the topic of Statistical Issues in the Design and Analysis of Cardiovascular Disease.  These symposia are always well received with about 100 attendees per session.  We continued our successful collaboration with the Ethics and Regulatory Science Programs, holding our second interdisciplinary symposium.  This year’s symposium was on Cluster Randomized Trials: Ethics, Regulations, Statistics & Design.

The monthly journal clubs we started last year are going strong with about 30 attendees per session.  We held ten this year.  The leader selects an article on a topic of interest to Harvard Catalyst statisticians and leads a discussion of the article.  We try to make these meetings as accessible as possible by having them in-person with web and teleconference interfaces.

This year, we welcomed a new program coordinator, Jai Vartikar.  Jai comes to us with a strong background in the sciences.  She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University.  After completing her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, she was a Research Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh and a Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University.