Areas of Expertise for Which the Department of Biostatistics Needs to Recruit Further, or Find Collaborators

Gaps for which there is active recruiting and a candidate has been found

  1. Imaging data analysis

Gaps for which there is active recruiting

  1. Spatial modeling
  2. Gibbs sampling and related Bayesian simulation methods
  3. Sequential analysis of clinical trials
  4. Latent variable models
  5. Multilevel models

Areas in which the Department has expertise but will be augmenting personnel

  1. Survey design and analysis
  2. Time series analysis
  3. Meta-analysis of clinical trials
  4. Bioavailability and bioequivalence, non-inferiority designs
  5. Machine learning
  6. Experience with FDA and ICH regulations
  7. Continuous quality improvement
  8. Complex competing risks and other advanced survival analysis techniques
  9. Multivariate techniques such as principal component analysis and multidimensional scaling

Gaps for which the Department will collaborate with other departments at VU

  1. Psychometrics, path analysis
  2. Health economics
  3. Mathematical modeling of diseases
  4. Signal processing, Fourier analysis
  5. Confidentiality, HIPPA compliance, encrypting files
  6. Survey conduct

General Needs

  1. Statisticians with more experience in general. More senior-level statisticians who have looked at oodles of data
    1. Experienced biostatisticians who can teach in the MS and PhD programs
    2. A statistician who can teach a course on the history of statistics
    3. Biostatisticians with at least 10 years of experience in collaborations involving NIH grants and medical journal manuscripts

I did a quick tally on the GCRC protocols reviewed by me between 4/05 and 3/06. Roughly the studies (total 50 protocols) are distributed as following:

Vandy investigator-initiated studies: 27, Industry studies, mainly phase I/II: 10, NIH collaborative studies (non-vaccine): 2, Vaccine studies: 5, MRI/radiology: 4, Genetics: 1, Questionnaire as main data collecting tool: 1.

If we add other studies envisioned by the CTSA, such as population-based community studies, basic science studies and (else …?) which currently GCRC does not cover, I see the following:

1) For the Vandy investigator-initiated studies, the expertise needed focuses on linear models, generalized linear models, longitudinal data analysis, survival analysis, modern non-parametrics (robust methods, bootstrap), Bayesian statistics, categorical data analysis, clinical trial methods. The sort of general biostatisticians with a broad training and also a focus in one of the above areas will serve the purpose; 2) We need to carefully summarize the expertise currently available in the department; 3) We need someone with special training in MRI/radiology studies; 4) Since population-based community studies are emphasized in the CTSA announcement, we probably need statisticians in this area, also because of the comments in the pink sheet. But I am not sure we can call this a specialty, or it is something someone from 1) can develop into, e.g. Chang Yu is developing an interest in measurement error correction models with applications to physical activity data collected in Wei Zheng’s large community-based cohort studies. When the challenge arises, someone from 1) should be able to cover.

Topic revision: r12 - 26 Apr 2013, JohnBock

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