Talks focused on translating recent advances in biostatistics into practice. Biostatistics Seminar Series
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

During the 2014-15 academic year, the Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program will present a series of talks based on recent advances in biostatistics, but with a focus on translation of those ideas to biostatistical practice. Speakers will provide detailed examples of the application of methods, often including discussion of software, code, and worked examples.

Upcoming Seminars

Causal Mediation Analysis

Tyler VanderWeele, PhD
March 3, 2015
8:30am-4:30pm, Countway Library, Minot Room
Reservations are requested.

The workshop will cover some of the recent developments in causal mediation analysis and provide practical tools to implement these techniques. Mediation analysis concerns assessing the mechanisms and pathways by which causal effects operate. The course will cover the relationship between traditional methods for mediation in epidemiology and the social sciences and those that have been developing within the causal inference literature. For dichotomous, continuous, and time-to-event outcomes, discussion will be given as to when the standard approaches to mediation analysis are valid. Using ideas from causal inference and natural direct and indirect effects, alternative mediation analysis techniques will be described when the standard approaches will not work. The no-confounding assumptions needed for these techniques will be described. SAS, SPSS, Stata and R macros to implement these techniques will be covered and distributed to course participants. The use and implementation of sensitivity analysis techniques to assess the how sensitive conclusions are to violations of assumptions will be covered. Discussion will be given to how such mediation analysis approaches can be extended to settings in which data come from a case-control study design. The methods will be illustrated by various applications to perinatal, genetic, and social epidemiology. Familiarity with linear and logistic regression will be assumed; some knowledge of counterfactual notation would be helpful but is not necessary.

Applied Longitudinal Analysis

Garrett Fitzmaurice, ScD
March 20, 2015
8:30am-4:30pm, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, FXB G12
Reservations are requested.

The goal of this one-day short course is to provide a broad introduction to statistical methods for analyzing longitudinal data. The main emphasis is on the practical rather than the theoretical aspects of longitudinal analysis. The course begins with a review of established methods for longitudinal data analysis when the response of interest is continuous. A general introduction to linear mixed effects models for continuous responses is presented. Next, we discuss how smoothing and semiparametric regression allow greater flexibility for the form of the relationship between the mean response and covariates. We demonstrate how the mixed model representation of penalized splines makes this extension straightforward. When the response of interest is categorical (e.g., binary or count data), two main extensions of generalized linear models to longitudinal data have been proposed: "marginal models" and "generalized linear mixed models." While both classes of models account for the within-subject correlation among the repeated measures, they differ in approach. In this course we highlight the main distinctions between these two types of models and discuss the types of scientific questions addressed by each.
Prerequisite Knowledge: Attendees should have a strong background in linear regression and some minimal exposure to generalized linear models (e.g., logistic regression).

March Journal Club

Robert Parker, ScD
March 25, 2015
12:30pm-1:30pm, MGH, 50 Stanford Street, Suite 560, Room 560F

Please join us for this meeting of the Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Journal Club. The leader of this meeting will be Dr. Robert Parker, ScD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Please contact Letizia Allais for call-in information.

April Journal Club

Wei Wang, PhD
April 15, 2015
12:30pm-1:30pm, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Bldg 2, Rm 426

Please join us for this meeting of the Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Journal Club. The leader of this meeting will be Dr. Wei Wang, PhD, Associate Mathematician in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders in the Department of Medicine and Neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Please contact Letizia Allais for call-in information.

Statistical Analysis of Missing Data in Observational Studies: Methods and Applications

Nicholas Horton, ScD
April 23, 2015
2:30pm-5:30pm, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, CLSB, 11081
Reservations are requested.

CER with Administrative Data: Methods for Confounding Uncertainty and Heterogeneous Treatment Effects

Cory Zigler, PhD
May 19, 2015
3:30pm-5:30pm, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, FXB G12