The Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) consortium at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center received a $9.8M grant to improve genetic risk prediction for cardiovascular disease in racially and ethnically diverse populations. “The goal is to create risk scores for cardiovascular and related diseases that work equally well in people of color as in European Americans,” said Charles Kooperberg, head of the Hutch’s Biostatistics Program and one of the principal investigators of the study. Kooperberg is also an affiliate professor of biostatistics with the University of Washington School of Public Health.
In the News
Affiliate Professor of Biostatistics and Fred Hutch biostatistician Holly Janes participated in discussions about the design of HIV vaccine trails in the era of oral PrEP. “There are a lot of people who are interested in PrEP, but cannot sustain that over time,” she said. “One reason has to do with the usual challenges of getting people to change their behaviors when they are healthy. An analogy might be the difficulty in getting people to floss their teeth on a daily basis. It’s difficult for all of us,” said Janes.
Biostatistics faculty members Tom Fleming and Betz Halloran sit on the WHO Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Next Steps for COVID-19 Vaccine Evaluation. In a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, the group notes that even though the efficacy of some COVID-19 vaccines appears to be high, reliable information will still be needed on longer-term safety and duration of protection.
"This analysis seems to be subject to the Texas sharpshooter fallacy," where someone first fires a shot at a barn then paints a target around the bullet hole, said panelist and biostatistician Scott Emerson, MD, PhD, of the University of Washington in Seattle.
Professor of Biostatistics Jon Wakefield is co-author of a recent paper that notes the explosion in geographic studies in low- and middle-income countries and investigates the extent to which accounting for the sample design affects the predictive performance at the aggregate level of interest for health policy decisions.
Daniela Witten, professor of biostatistics and statistics, is quoted in this piece that examines how statistical thinking and eugenicist thinking are intertwined and delves into the difficulty of breaking the legacy of eugenics and false objectivity.
Peter Gilbert, research professor of biostatistics and a biostatistician at Fred Hutch, comments on assessing safety and efficacy after an Emergency Use Authorization has been approved. Gilbert has helped design clinical trials for the leading U.S. vaccine candidates.
Six Biostatistics alumni are among the 50 Changemakers recognized by the School of Public Health as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. Congratulations to Garnet Anderson, Gary Churchill, Jeffrey Leek, Kung-Yee Liang, Xihong Lin, and Clarice R. Weinberg.