NH/VT News


New Health Data Science Master’s Program at Dartmouth

Dartmouth College’s program in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences welcomes applications to its master’s degree in Health Data Science. The program prepares students for data science careers in health-related industries. The first students began in the fall of 2018. The students complete their studies in 15 months, or 18 months if they choose to do a summer internship. More information can be found at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~qbs/program/the-ms-curriculum.html.


Award to Dartmouth from National Institute of Health (NIH) 

Dr. Zhigang Li, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Data Science at Dartmouth, is the recipient of a R01 from NIH entitled “Mediation Analysis Methods to Model Human Microbiome Mediating Disease-Leading Causal Pathways in Children”. This goal of this project is to develop and apply mediation modeling approaches to investigate human microbiome as a complex mediator in disease-leading causal pathways in children’s health to advance the understanding of pathogenesis mediated by the microbiome in children and facilitate the translation of microbiome research into medical practice. Researchers in this project include Drs. James O’Malley (biostatistician), Margaret Karagas, Brock Christensen, Anne Hoen (epidemiologists) and Juliette Madan (pediatrician) at Dartmouth, as well as Dr. Hongzhe Li (biostatistician) from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.


Awards to Dartmouth from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

Dr. A. James O’Malley, Professor of Biostatistics in The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and in the Department of Biomedical Data Science, received a PCORI award to develop biostatistical methods to advance patient centered outcomes research in survival data with unmeasured confounding to improve patient risk communication. More information can be found at https://www.pcori.org/research-results/2015/advancing-patient-centered-outcomes-research-survival-data-unmeasured.

Dr. Tor D. Tosteson, Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Biomedical Data Science, recently received a PCORI award to develop valid instrumental variable methodology for learning health care systems. More information can be found at http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/news/2017/geisel-researchers-to-receive-1-million-award-for-comparative-outcomes-research/.


Awards to Dartmouth from National Institute of Health (NIH) for Cancer Research 

Dr. Christopher Amos, collaborating with Ivan Gorlov, Olga Gorlova and Jiang Gui all Professors of Biostatistics in the Department of Biomedical Data Science received a $12.1 million multi-institutional grant from NIH entitled Integrative analysis of lung cancer etiology and risk (U19CA203654).  This grant focuses on causes and early detection of lung cancer (https://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/news/2017/dartmouth-researchers-receive-substantial-nih-grant-as-part-of-cooperative-research-in-lung-cancer-risk/). Dr. Amos leads the administrative core and genomic analysis components. Dr. Xihong Lin at Harvard leads the biostatistics core (with collaboration with Drs. Amos and Gorlova).

Dr. Ivan Gorlov collaborating with Drs. Amos, Cheng and Demidenko also Professors of Biostatistics in the Department of Biomedical Data Science at Dartmouth received a grant (R56LM012371) from NIH entitled ‘Prediction SNP priors for cancer GWASs. This grant was deemed high risk high gain by NCI and seeks to identify SNPs using bioinformatical and association analytical approaches jointly that identify genes relevant in disease etiology.

Drs. Ivan Gorlov and Amos also received support to lead the Bioinformatics Core of the NIH-funded P01CA206980 entitled ‘Integration of clinical and molecular biomarkers for melanoma survival. This grant seeks to identify genomic, clinical, methylation and immunogenetic markers predicting melanoma outcomes for stages IIa-IIIb. These tumors are usually treated only by surgery but have a considerable recurrence risk. Dartmouth supports bioinformatics and integrative analyses of the data.

Post-Doc and Research Scientist opportunities at Dartmouth

(1) The Division of Biostatistics in the Department of Biomedical Data Science at the Geisel School of Medicine is seeking applications for post-doctoral fellows in their NCI training grant and a biostatistics research scientist in their statistical consulting core. Contact us at https://bmds.dartmouth.edu/contact-us.

(2) The research group led by Dr. Zhigang Li in the Department of Biomedical Data Science invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher in Biostatistics/Data Science. This position will be supported by an NIH R01 grant to advance the understanding of pathogenesis mediated by microbiome in children and help translate research findings to medical practice. The position will also provide wonderful research/training opportunities to develop novel statistical methods to solve cutting edge problems in microbiome research in children’s health. The postdoctoral researcher will work under the mentorship of Dr. Li and collaborate with an established interdisciplinary research team consisting of statisticians, epidemiologists, pediatricians and bioinformaticians. S/he will be able to participate in exciting projects such as the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study and Cystic Fibrosis related medical studies. Please contact Dr. Li for more information at Zhigang.Li@dartmouth.edu.


Rhode Island News

Professor Christopher H. Schmid Becomes Chair of the Biostatistics Department at Brown University

The Department of Biostatistics recently announced the appointment of Professor Christopher H. Schmid as chair of the Department effective 1 August 2018. Schmid has been with Brown since 2012 and is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health. Schmid succeeds Joseph Hogan, ScD in the position of chair.

Before joining Brown, Schmid was on faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine where he served as Director of the Biostatistics Research Center and Associate Director of the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science program. Schmid received his PhD in Statistics from Harvard University in 1991.

Schmid is Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), elected member and incoming President of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology, founding Co-Editor of the Research Synthesis Methods journal, statistical editor for the American Journal of Kidney Diseases and former Chair of the Section on Health Policy Statistics at ASA. Schmid directs the Clinical Research Design, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core of Advance-RI Clinical and Translational Research (Advance-CTR) and the Evidence Synthesis Academy. His current research focuses on methods and applications for meta-analysis, Bayesian methods and software as well as on predictive models.

Professor Schmid takes over as chair after Professor Joseph Hogan. Professor Hogan will continue to be active in the Department and the Center for Statistical Sciences as he continues his research and teaching. He will also continue as the Deputy Director of Brown’s Data Science Initiative.

Constantine Gastonis Receives the 2018 Marvin Zelen Leadership Award

Constantine Gastonis, Henry Ledyard Goddard University Professor of Biostatistics, Professor of Biostatistics, and Director of Statistical Sciences at Brown University is the recipient of the 2018 Marvin Zelen Leadership Award in Statistical Science.

Professor Gastonis is the founding Director of the Center for Statistical Sciences and the founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistics. He is a leading authority on the evaluation of diagnostic and screening tests, and has made major contributions to the development of methods for medical technology assessment and health services and outcomes research. A world leader in methods for applying and synthesizing evidence on diagnostic tests in medicine, he is currently developing methods for Comparative Effectiveness Research related to diagnosis and prediction in radionics.

The Marvin Zelen Leadership Award in Statistical Science is an annual award, supported by colleagues, friends and family, that was established to honor Dr. Marvin Zelen’s long and distinguished career as a statistician and his major role in shaping the field of biostatistics.

Symposium Honoring Professor Constantine Gatsonis Held at Brown University on October 6, 2017

A special symposium on Scientific Inference in the Age of Data Science was held at Brown University on October 6 to honor the fundamental and singular contributions of Professor Constantine Gatsonis to the development of Biostatistics at Brown University. The program featured talks by Professor Michael Daniels from the University of Florida, Professor Francesca Dominici from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and Professor Robert Kass from Carnegie Mellon University. Department Chair Joseph Hogan, Provost Rick Locke, Dean Fox Wetle, and Professor Vince Mor delivered the opening remarks.

In 1995, after being recruited from Harvard, Constantine launched the Center for Statistical Sciences at Brown and set forth a vision for biostatistical research and education at the University. Over the next 22 years, he served as the architect for both PhD and Master's graduate programs in biostatistics and an undergraduate concentration in statistics; oversaw recruitment of highly talented faculty members; and landed substantial external funding for research in a variety of areas critical to statistical science and public health -- most notably in the area of diagnostic screening and imaging for cancer.   

Along with four other departments that would comprise the School of Public Health, the Department of Biostatistics was formed in 2011, with Constantine as Founding Chair. The Department has 15 faculty, 16 PhD students, 34 Master's students, and oversees a rapidly expanding Statistics concentration. Biostatistics is one of four core departments in the new Data Science Initiative.

Throughout this remarkable period, Constantine has been an influential leader and has provided generous service in a variety of external leadership roles, including most recently as Chair of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics at the National Academies of Science. 

This symposium was organized to recognize Constantine's remarkable contributions, most particularly as Founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistics.  Constantine remains an active member of the department, and is continuing his role as Director of the Center for Statistical Sciences.