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Georgia Southern conference brings FDA, pharmaceutical companies, and academics to Savannah

University, pharmaceutical industry, and government representatives will gather in Savannah Monday through Friday, Nov. 5-9 for the Fourteenth Annual Biopharmaceutical Applied Statistics Symposium (BASS XIV). The symposium will take place at the Mulberry Inn. The Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) at Georgia Southern University co-sponsors the conference.

‘BASS brings biostatisticians and scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, from pharmaceutical companies, and from colleges and universities across the country to Savannah,” said co-chair Laura Gunn, assistant professor of biostatistics in JPHCOPH. ‘While they’re here they share their research formally through tutorials, industry sessions, and short courses, and informally through personal discussion. Because these three groups have so much to do with the development and effective use of new medicines, BASS gives them an important opportunity to connect.”

Karl Peace, founding director of the Karl E. Peace Center for Biostatistics in Georgia Southern’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, founded the first BASS in 1994 to bring together individuals who used biostatistics in their work. In addition to providing an educational forum, BASS provides revenue to support graduate fellowships in biostatistics. More than 30 students have earned master’s and doctoral degrees in biostatistics as a result of symposium revenues.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Mitchell Gail, Ph.D., chief of the biostatistics branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute. A graduate of Harvard Medical School with a Ph.D. in biostatistics from George Washington University, Gail is well known in the field of biostatistics for his studies in modeling absolute risk of disease, including breast cancer risk projection. Gail will speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5.

Another interesting speaker will be Louise Ryan, chair in the department of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Along with two Harvard colleagues, Scott Evans and Tianxi Cai, Ryan will present a short course titled ‘Hot Topics in Clinical Trials.”

In addition, Mark van der Laan, who hold the JP Hsu/ KE Peace Endowed Chair in Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleague, Cathy Tuglus, will present a short course titled ‘Statistical Methods for Biomarker Discovery.”

Biostatistics is a growing field of public health used in epidemiology, health services research, and design and analysis of clinical trials in medicine. By using biostatistics in clinical trials, scientists can find drug thresholds that offer the most effective results, increase survival rates, and reduce the adverse effects of medication.

The weeklong event is sponsored by the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University and the Department of Biostatistics of the Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information about the conference, go to http://bass.georgiasouthern.edu/

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