Erika Graf: Infrastructures supporting Statistical Consultancy at the Institute of Medical Biometry and Statistics, Medical Center – University of Freiburg

Erika Graf is a biostatistician at the Institute of Medical Biometry and Statistics (IMBI), Medical Faculty and Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Germany, and collaborates closely with the Clinical Trials Unit of the University Medical Center. She is co-heading the Statistical Consulting Unit at IMBI and is responsible for the consulting for biomedical study projects.


Georg Heinze: Don’t be the fool on the hill! – On the role of biostatisticians in the medical research process

GEORG HEINZE  is biostatistician and head of the Section for Clinical Biometrics

at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. He also leads the Statistical Consulting Unit of this Section and has participated in numerous interdisciplinary research projects.


Ulrike Held: Statistical Consulting in Medical Research - Experience from the University of Zurich

Ulrike Held is Privatdozent and head of the Research Methods Consulting unit at the Department of Biostatistics at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Theis Lange: Biostatical advisory service across 40 years and 7000 km

Theis Lange is Associate Professor at (and former head of) the Section for Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, which is running the Statistical Advisory Service for the Faculty of Health Sciences. Since 2016 he has held a position as visiting professor at the Center for Statistical Science, Peking University, China.


Emmanuel Lesaffre: I have a dream …

Emmanuel Lesaffre is Professor at the Leuven Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics Centre (L-BioStat), KU Leuven, Belgium. L-BioStat together with the Center for Statistics at Universiteit Hasselt forms I-BioStat, one of the largest institutes for biostatistics and statistical bioinformatics in Europe with Statistical Consulting Service.


Richard Simon: Development of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Software at the Biometric Research Program of the National Cancer Institute

Richard Simon was leading the Biometric Research Program  at the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. until his retirement in 2017. He founded the Computational & Systems Biology Branch as a multidisciplinary group of statistical, computational and biological scientists to develop methods for high-dimensional genomic data in cancer research. Their software, e.g. BRB ArrayTools, is widely used in statistical advising for analysis of genomic data.


Kathrine Frey Frøslie: Statistics as a foreign language

Kathrine Frey Frøslie is a biostatistician at the National Research Service for Women’s Health at Oslo University Hospital, Norway. She has been an enthusiastic communicator of biostatistics for many years, she is co-author together with Jo Røislien of a children's book about statistics, and her latest adventure is a popular science blog.


Special Contributed Talks


Heather Smith: Communication Best Practices: A Triangle of Statistical Communication

Heather Smith, faculty member in the Statistics Department at Cal Poly (California Polytechnic State University), San Luis Obispo.


Eric Vance: Training the Next Generation of Statistical Advisors

Eric Vance, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Applied Mathematics and director of LISA (Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis)




Biostatistical advising as part of the scientific process

  • A service or an integrated scientific partner
  • The advisor’s role in a multidisciplinary research team
  • Dynamics between research, teaching, and advising
  • The trade-off between simple solutions and optimal methods – when is “good enough” good enough?


Is there a “best practice” for advising?

  • Panel discussion


How to organize and structure a biostatistical advising service

  • Different implementations of advising services
  • Advising services in small and large units
  • Advising services in universities, hospitals, and other research centres
  • Prioritization of limited resources
  • Funding of advising services
  • Plan, do, check, act: quality management for advising services


The impact of biostatistical advising

  • Can advising become a subject of scientific study?
  • Which data are available and relevant to study the impact of advising?
  • Quantification of the impact of advising


From cases to principles - learning from real-life advising projects

  • The advisee’s approach
  • The advisor’s approach
  • Meeting the advisee’s needs and wishes – a dilemma for the advisor?
  • Challenges with high-dimensional and big data in genomics, registry data, mobile health, e-health, etc.
  • Challenges with sensitive data


Communication challenges in biostatistical advising

  • Communication across scientific boundaries
  • Promoting an early entrance into a research project
  • What are the expectations – advisees and advisors?
  • From bilateral advising to trilateral relationships - clinicians/biologists, programmers/bioinformaticians, statisticians
  • Delivering results vs teaching statistics and supervision


The next generation: training and recruiting new advisors

  • What makes a “good advisor”?
  • Recruitment and training – headhunting, mentor systems, informal training, advising schools
  • Advising – providing career options and a career in itself

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