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Another successful Research Practicum Defense poster presentation!

Congratulations, class of 2016!!!

On November 17, 2016, during the 9th Annual GUMC Convocation, Dr. George Luta has received the GUMC Research Recognition Award for outstanding achievement in research. The picture shows Dr. Luta receiving the award from the Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. Dr. Luta is the first faculty from our department to receive this award, and we congratulate him for being recognized for his outstanding research.


Ruzong Fan, Ph.D., joined the department in October 2016 as a Professor. Ruzong came to us from NIH where he was investigator (2011-2016). He was previously a faculty member in the Department of Statistics at Texas A&M University (2001-2011), rising from assistant professor to Associate Professor (tenured).  He was a visiting professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center (2008-2009).  He has published extensively in probability and statistics journals, human genetics and genetic epidemiology. His research interests include Statistical Genetics and Genomics, Stochastic Modeling, Stochastic Processes and Applications, focusing on developing novel statistical methodology to analyze biomedical data and to increase understanding of biological architecture of complex diseases with applications to public health. Besides his independent research in statistical genetics, he will collaborate with Lombardi and GU investigators, and participate in research and education in biostatistics and bioinformatics. 


Ming T. Tan, Ph.D.,  presented as a keynote speaker Robust Subgroup Analysis in Clinical Trials at the annual Chinese Biostatistics Conference in Tianjin July 28, 2016. This is the primary biostatistics conference in China with over 600 attendees this year.


Junrui Di, 2013 alumnus, published an original paper: Determining Survery Satisficing of Online Longitudinal Survey Data in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study: A Group-Based Trajectory Analysis with Michael Plankey, Ph.D, as the corresponding author. 


Ming T. Tan, Ph.D., presented an invited talk at the 2016 AHA/ASA International Stroke Conference, held February 16th-19th at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Designing the Next Generation of Rehabilitation Clinical Trials: Learning from Cancer in Early Stage Trial Designs and Predictive Analysis 


In December 2015 we hosted yet another successful Research Practicum Defense poster presentation. The defense is the culmination of our students' year long work on a research project mentored by our faculty. In the course of their projects, students learn advanced tools and techniques and apply them towards solving a practical problem from biomedical fields, thus contributing to scientific advancements. This year, there were 24 high quality research projects, with topics ranging from methods in next generation sequencing analysis to adaptive clinical trial design to epidemiological studies of congenital defects. The quality was praised by everyone involved, including our external collaborators. 


Ling Cai, Ph.D., has been promoted to Senior Biostatistician. Dr. Cai has been a biostatistician within our department since 2013. She received both her Ph.D. in chemical physics and Master's degree in mathematical statistics from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2009. Dr. Cai provides consulting services for medical students' Independent Study Projects, which is required for their graduation. She also collaborates with medical doctors and scientists for their funded research, grant applications, and clinical trials protocols and analysis plans; and supports the departmental teaching activities.


Ao Yuan, Ph.D., has recently been promoted from Senior Biostatistician to Associate Professor. Dr. Yuan received his Ph.D. in statistics from University of British Columbia. Before joining the department in June 2014, he worked at Howard University National Human Genome Center as a research biostatistician for about 14 years, where he conducted research in biostatistics, clinical trials, empirical methods, and Bayesian methods.


Xiaogang "Simon" Zhong, Ph.D., has been promoted to Assistant Professor. Dr. Zhong's research focuses on developing statistical methods and tools for analysis of high-throughput genomic and epigenomic data. He have worked extensively on gene expression microarray data from various technology platforms, genome-wide association studies of SNPs and copy number variants, enrichment of molecular pathways, impact of structural variants in the evolution of pathways and next generation sequencing data.


Between May 25 and June 8, 2015, Professor Kepher Makambi was a guest lecturer at Pan African University Institute of Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) near Nairobi, Kenya. He gave two talks, titled "Data Science, Big Data and High-D Data: Is the Future of Statistics Threatened?" and "An Overview of Quantitative Data Synthesis". Above, he is pictured with PAUSTI faculty and students.


Professor Emeritus Ed Gehan was one of the invited speakers at the Fraud in Clinical Trials seminars held in Brussels, Belgium on April 20. He presented "Fraud in Clinical Trials: The Krebiozen story." Professor Ming Tan presented an invited talk on design and analysis of multidrug combination studies and Phase I Clinical Trials at the Paris Symposium on Early Phase Clinical Trial Methodology on April 16, 2015. 


Robert Beckman, M.D., is currently Professor of Oncology and of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics at Georgetown University Medical Center, as well as a faculty member of the Innovation Center of Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Beckman is an oncology clinical researcher and mathematical biologist, whose goals are to develop cancer therapies and to improve the way cancer therapies are developed and deployed in patients, with emphasis on personalized medicine, tumor heterogeneity, and tumor evolution. Together with the department, he will work on drug discovery and quantitative oncology.


Simina Boca, Ph.D., joined the department in April 2015 as a secondary appointment. Dr. Boca received a Ph.D. in Biostatistics and an M.H.S. in Bioinformatics from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2011. She then held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Biostatistics Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute. She is a faculty member in the Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics, holding a primary appointment in the Department of Oncology. Dr. Boca is also a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program within the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research primarily focuses on the development of methods and tools for the analysis of "omics" data, including genomics and metabolomics, especially as they relate to cancer. Further areas of substantive interest include cancer epidemiology and population genetics. Her research in oncology includes work on identifying genes and gene sets that are drivers of tumor development and on the link between diet, metabolites, and cancer risk. Her statistical interests include set-level analysis, multiple testing approaches, permutation methods, and meta-analysis.

Click here to read last year's newsletter!