Talks focused on translating recent advances in biostatistics into practice. Biostatistics Continuing Education
At a glance
Opportunity for
  • Continuing education on recent advances in biostatistics
  • All members of the Harvard Catalyst community, but primarily geared toward biostatisticians
Session Dates
  • Varies; see below for details

The Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program will present seminars on current applied topics in biostatistics. These will include our monthly journal club and work in progress sessions, seminar series, symposia, and short courses.

Journal Club/Work in Progress

May 2017 Work-In-Progress

Title: Estimation for a Composite Endpoint Analysis

Dianne Finkelstein, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, MGH
May 23, 2017
MGH Biostatistics Center, 50 Staniford Street, Suite 560

Please join us for this work-in-progress meeting. The leader of this meeting will be Dianne Finkelstein, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, MGH, and Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Finkelstein will be presenting research to discuss the estimation for a composite endpoint analysis. The session is intended to be highly participatory with an active exchange of ideas.

June 2017 Journal Club

Jacqueline Starr, PhD
Director, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core
Lecturer, Department of Oral Health Science and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
June 27, 2017
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Room 2-426

Seminar Series

Single Institution Studies: Specific Aims, Study Design and Sample Size

RSVP required.

David A. Schoenfeld, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, MGH
Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

June 14, 2017
11:30am - 1:00pm
Room 3130, Simches Research Center, MGH
185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114


This talk is designed to summarize what I have learned in the past 30 years planning studies with MGH investigators. It will focus on pilot studies and other studies that are feasible for a single investigator. The primary purpose of a pilot study is to make sure that a larger study is feasible. This included making sure the instructions can be followed, the treatment is tolerated, the relatively common adverse events are anticipated and the larger study appears to be worthwhile. I show how these considerations affect the sample size of the study. Academic researchers need to have a Clinical Development Plan in any proposal for an initial study, which follows the treatment from their proposed study through to a change in medical practice.

Pilot studies can help the investigator learn the properties of their primary measurement, but they are not very good at estimating the effect size of a future study. I discuss how to approach sample size considerations. Issues arise because the clinical meanings of most measurements used in small studies don't have an obvious clinical meaning. In this setting, there are several ways that sample size can be approached. Finally, I will address the issue of whether to have a control group.


Short Courses