Talks focused on translating recent advances in biostatistics into practice. Biostatistics Continuing Education
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The Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program organizes an annual symposium on a topic of interest to Harvard Catalyst statisticians and others in the wider Harvard community. We have held symposia that have been organized around disease areas, with a focus on statistical methods related to the study of those diseases. We have also organized a symposium around a topic of statistical interest: p-values and hypothesis testing.

Biostatistics Annual Symposium: P-values, Hypothesis Testing and Reproducibility

March 2, 2017, 9:00am-4:00pm
Minot Room, Countway Library, Harvard Medical School

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Learn from prominent statisticians who will address current controversies and thinking about significance testing in science, with focused presentations on relevance to the FDA, publication in the clinical literature, health services research, neuro-imaging analysis, statistical genetics and scientific replication.

Andrew Gelman, PhD
Professor, Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science, Columbia University
The Statistical Crisis in Science

David Harrington, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics, DFCI, HCSPH
Some Significantly Statistical Issues for Peer Reviewers of Medical Research

Peter Kraft, PhD
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, HCSPH
Finding a Needle in a Stack of Needles: Perspectives on Significance Testing in Genome-Wide Association and Other High-Dimensional Genomics Studies

Nicole Lazar, PhD
Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Georgia
Reproducibility in Functional Neuroimaging Studies: Multiple Testing and p-Values

Sharon-Lise Normand, PhD
Professor of Health Care Policy, HMS, Professor of Biostatistics, HCSPH
Generating Evidence for Comparative Effectiveness Research

Robert T. O'Neill, PhD
Senior Statistical Advisor, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA
A Regulatory Perspective on the Role of P Values in Hypothesis Testing and Estimation in Regulatory Decision Making

Prasad Patil, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biostatistics, HCSPH, Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, DFCI
Setting Expectations for Replicability in Science


Past Biostatistics Symposia


Joint Symposium between the Biostatistics Program and the Regulatory Foundations, Ethics, and Law Program

Cluster Randomized Trials: Ethics, Regulations, Statistics & Design
November 3, 2016

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This half-day symposium explored Cluster Randomized Trial Design and the ethical and regulatory concerns involved in the design process.

This symposium was co-sponsored by Harvard Catalyst's Biostatistics Program and Regulatory Foundations, Ethics, and Law Program.

November 3, 2016
1:00pm - 4:30pm, Bray Room, Joseph B. Martin Conference Center

CRT Symposium News Coverage

Speakers and Slides:

Barbara Bierer, MD [PDF]
Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBioethics [PDF]
Michael Hughes, PhD [PDF]
Rui Wang, PhD [PDF]
Michele Russell-Einhorn, JD [PDF]
Moderated by Barbara Bierer, MD and Rebecca Betensky, PhD


Biostatistics Symposium: Statistical Issues in the Design and Analysis of Cardiovascular Disease
February 10, 2016

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February 10, 2016
11:00am-4:00pm, DFCI, Yawkey Conference Center

Session 1: Biomarkers and risk prediction and stratification

  • Novel assays for cardiac troponin: diagnosis, risk prediction, and treatment
    Brendan Everett, MD, MPH, Director, General Cardiology Inpatient Service, Brigham & Women's Hospital
    Slides from Dr. Everett's presentation.
  • Guidelines for cardivoscular therapy: risk- or benefit-based?
    Nancy Cook, ScD, Professor, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
    Slides from Dr. Cook's presentation.

Session 2: Genetics studies

  • Identifying novel genes for blood pressure
    Dan Levy, MD, Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Chief, Population Sciences Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Director, Framingham Heart Study
  • Mega-genetic analysis applied to studies of human longevity and cardiovascular free survival
    Paola Sebastiani, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, Boston University

Session 3: Clinical trials

  • Clinical Outcome Trials are not either positive or negative
    Marc Pfeffer, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Experiences with interim trial monitoring, and misunderstanding about early stopped trials
    Robert Glynn, ScD, Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Slides from Dr. Glynn's presentation.
  • Moving beyond the comfort zone in practicing translational statistics for clinical studies
    LJ Wei, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Slides from Dr. Wei's presentation.

Session 4: Observational studies

  • Design and analytical issues in the family-based Framingham Study
    Vasan Ramachandran, MD, DM, Cardiovascular epidemiologist, Framingham Heart Study
    Slides from Dr. Ramachandran's presentation.
  • Assessing the effect of sleep disturbances on blood pressure adjusting for the use of hypertension medication
    Rui Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Slides from Dr. Wang's presentation.
  • Methodologies for the Study of Precipitants of Acute Cardiovascular Events
    Murray Mittleman, MPH, DrPH, Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Session 5: Post-marketing safety studies

  • FDA's Sentinel System for assessing the safety of marketed medical products
    Richard Platt, MD, MSc, Professor and Chair, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute
    Slides from Dr. Platt's presentation.
  • An overview of Sentinel's current analytic capability and unmet needs
    Lingling Li, PhD, Associate Professor & Biostatistician, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Director, Biostatistics Center, Harvard Medical School
    Slides from Dr. Li's presentation.

With an introduction by Rebecca Betensky, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, & Program Director, Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program


Statistical Issues in the Analysis of Neurological Studies
November 19, 2014

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November 19, 2014
11:00am-4:00pm
Shriners Auditorium, Massachusetts General Hospital

This Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics symposium will explore statistical issues that arise in the study of neurologic diseases. The symposium will begin with motivating clinical background and identification of pressing analytical needs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. The statistical talks will focus on methods for incorporating and handling causal inference, multiple endpoints, high dimensional biomarker selection, censored covariates, and measurement issues in short-term clinical trials. The symposium is intended for statisticians, as well as for researchers in neurologic diseases who have analytical interests.

Speakers include:

James Berry, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Rebecca Betensky, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Deborah Blacker, MD, ScD, Professor of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Tanuja Chitnis, MD, Clinical Affiliate in Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brian Healy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Eric Macklin, PhD, Instructor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
David Schoenfeld, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Course Slides:

  • Course Booklet [PDF]
  • Adjustment for selction bias and median analysis in neuropathological studies of Alzheimer's disease, by Jing Qian [PDF]
  • Analytical Issues in Alzheimer's Disease, by Deborah Blacker, MD, ScD [PDF]
  • Analyzing Supportive Care in ALS: An Intro to Causal Inference Methods, by Erin McDonnell and David Schoenfeld [PDF]
  • A Generalized Global Rank Test for Multiple, Possibly Censored, Outcomes, by Ritesh Ramchandani [PDF]
  • Measurement Issues in Parkinson's Disease, by Eric A. Macklin, PhD [PDF]
  • Measurement Issues in Short Term Clinical Trials, by Brian Healy, PhD [PDF]
  • Multiple Endpoints in Neurological Studies, by Eric A. Macklin, PhD [PDF]
  • Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical Viewpoint: Examples of analytical issues in neurological diseases, by Tanuja Chitnis, MD [PDF]
  • The Paradox of Phase II ALS Trials, by James D. Berry, MD, MPH [PDF]
  • Slowing Progression of Parkinson's Disease: How do you measure that? Part I: The Challenge, by Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD [PDF]
  • Stroke outcomes in the presence of early deaths, by Rebecca A. Betensky, PhD, and Roland A. Matsouaka, PhD [PDF]
  • Use of Observational Data to Make Causal Inferences About Treatment Decisions in Multiple Sclerosis, by Brian Healy, PhD [PDF]

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