IN THIS ISSUE - The International Biometric Society


IN THIS ISSUE - The International Biometric Society
Vol. 31 No. 4 • October–December
International Biometric Society Internationale Biometrische Gesellschaft Société International de Biométrie
President’s Corner
The end of another
year—a time to reflect
on the past and to look
forward to the future.
What has it meant
for the Society and its
members? How can we
make the Society more
relevant to your needs
and encourage others to join us?
For many of us the year was dominated
by the IBC in Florence in July. This is now
finally wrapped-up, and you can find the
meeting abstracts on the IBS website (www. along with the video
and materials from the short course on Meta
Analysis and its implementation in R and two
invited sessions. So, for those of you unable
to travel to the meeting you will be able to
get some flavour of the scientific activities.
This is part of our ongoing aim to deliver
added value to our members and help them
keep abreast of developments no matter
where they happen to be in the world.
Of course, our IBS journals, Biometrics and
JABES, are also part of this and also provide
a view of biometry and our interests to the
wider statistical community. Throughout the
year our regions have been busy with local
meetings, courses, etc., and these activities
are regularly reported in this bulletin and on
the various regional websites. The interplay
between the international society and our
regional structure is an important and unique
feature of our Society, and we are busy
developing initiatives to strengthen these
links. We already have new programmes
in place to support developing country
members to travel to regional meetings
( and to facilitate the delivery of
short courses in developing country regions.
Looking forward, Representative Council
“Biometry, the active pursuit of biological knowledge by quantitative methods.” - R.A. Fisher, 1948
is currently considering a scheme to help
fund activities at network and inter-region
meetings that we hope will be announced
early next year.
As a ‘non-IBC’ year, 2015 is going to be a
year where regional activities will be to the
fore. There is an impressive array of meetings planned all over the world, and I hope
to attend a number of these and meet as
many of you as possible. I would urge you all
to make these meetings welcoming and supportive to our younger and student members—they are the future of our Society and
stand to gain a lot by interacting with senior
colleagues but, equally, have a lot to contribute to our meetings. From the start of the
year we will have a new Executive Board in
place. The election is currently under way,
and if you haven’t already voted please do so.
Our new governance processes are well and
truly in place and delivering a more streamlined and representative system, allowing the
Society to move forward on many fronts. Do
visit the website (
regularly to keep up-to-date. The year will
also be a busy one for planning the next IBC
in Victoria, Canada (10-15 July 2016)—the
Calls for Invited Sessions and Short Course
Proposals will be closing in the New Year, so
if you have interesting ideas it is not too late
to submit them.
The end of the year is also that time when
membership renewals come due, but at
our current rates of USD 60 (USD 14 for
developing country members) we must be
the best value statistical society in the world!
Remember, by renewing your membership
you continue to be a member of this truly
international society, gain the benefits of
that membership, and help to support the
development and application of biometry.
Please also encourage your colleagues, stu1
Biometric Bulletin
President’s Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
From the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Region Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
NEW FEATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Biometrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
JABES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Region News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Australasian Region. . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Austro-Swiss Region. . . . . . . . . . . 6
Belgian Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Brazilian Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
British and Irish Region. . . . . . . . . 7
Central American –
Caribbean Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Dutch Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
German Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Eastern Mediterranean Region . . . 9
Eastern North American Region. . 10
Italian Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Japanese Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Polish Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Western North American Region. . 14
Announcements and News . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
dents and friends to join us and help grow
our Society and the services that we supply
to our members. You will have seen that the
Communications Committee recently sent
out a survey to all IBS members, and we are
looking at the results to see how we can
improve services to members, but do tell us
if you have ideas for how we can be more
relevant to your needs.
My dictionary describes society as a “group
Continued on p. 4
ISSN 8750-0434
Copyright © 2014
International Biometric Society
Biometric Bulletin is published four times a year in
March, June, September and December for US$40 per year by the:
International Biometric Society
1444 I Street, NW, Suite 700 • Washington, DC 20005-6542 USA
Telephone: +1 (202) 712-9049 • Fax: +1 (202) 216-9646
Email: <[email protected]>
The Biometric Bulletin is available to members of the Society as
part of their annual dues. The views of contributions to this publication should not be ascribed to the International Biometric Society.
Reproduction for commercial purposes is allowed if the source is
Dimitris Karlis, Dept. of Statistics, Athens University of Economics &
Business, e-mail: <[email protected]>
Regional Correspondents
Liesbeth de Wreede (ANed), Sally Galbraith (AR), Richard Emsley
(BIR), Hein Putter (Channel Network), Axel Benner (DR), Anil
Barak (EMR), Leslie McClure (ENAR), Mamadou Diedhiou (GEth),
Olayemi Oluwasoga (GNi), Zofia Hanusz (GPol), Cornelia Enachesu
(GRo), Peter M. Njuho (GSAf), Wellington Mushayi (GZim), Babu
L. Verma (IR), Satoshi Hattori (JR), Esa Läärä (NR), Cecilia Bruno
(RArg), Sophie Vanbelle (RBe), Luzia Aparecida Trinca (RBras),
Novie Younger (RCAC), Anabel Forte (REsp), Robert Faivre (RF),
Stefano Salvadori (RItl), Seung-Ho Kang (Rko), Andrea Berghold
(ROeS), Henry G. Mwambi (SUSAN), Megan Othus (WNAR),
Jialiang Li (SING), Dan Kajungu (GUgan), Agnes Ankomah (GGha),
John Mwangi (GKe), Njoku Ama (GBot), Innocent Zebaze (GCam),
Cristian Meza (GCl), Katja Ickstadt (CEN), Alia Sajjad (PKSTAN),
Andrew Zhou (CHINA).
International Biometric Society Executive Board
President: John Hinde, Ireland
Past President: Clarice G.B. Demétrio, Brazil
Secretary-Treasurer: James Carpenter, United Kingdom
Directors: Wesley Johnson, United States; Lisa Lavange, United
States; Kerri Mengersen, Australia; Peter Njuho, South Africa;
Sharon-Lise Normand, United States; Vicente A. Núñez-Antón,
Spain; José Pinheiro, United States; Paulo J. Ribeiro, Brazil;
Michael Schemper, Austria; Alan Welsh, Australia; Andreas
Ziegler, Germany; Hendrick Boshuizen, Netherlands
Editors of Biometrics
Jeremy M.G. Taylor, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington
Heights, M4509 Sph Ii, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2007, Tel: (734) 9363287, Email: <[email protected]>
Jeanine J. Houwing-Duistermaat, Department of Medical
Statistics and Bioinformatics, Leiden University Medical Centre,
Postzone S-05-P, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands,
Tel: 31-71-5269707, Email: <[email protected]>
Yi-Hau Chen, Academia Sinica – Institute of Statistical Science,
Taipei 11529, Taiwan R.O.C., Tel: 886-2-27871968, Email:
<[email protected]>
Marie Davidian (Executive Editor), North Carolina State
University, Department of Statistics, Box 8203, Raleigh, NC
27695-8203, USA, Tel: +1-919-515-1940, Fax: +1-919-5157591, E-mail: <[email protected]>
From the Editor
Dear Readers,
In the dawn of the New Year 2015, we
are glad to have a fresh new issue. In this
issue we have another interesting article
by Daria Steigman, about “Training a New
Generation of Samurai: Why There’s a Big
Data Skills Gap, and How to Solve It.” The
article relates to the hot topic of Big Data
and especially gives an interesting glance on
how well prepared we are about this. We
hope that you are going to enjoy this article
just as you have the previous ones.
In this issue you can find significant information from events that took place during the
last period but also useful information about
the forthcoming regional events throughout
the world. In 2015 there are plenty of very
interesting regional conferences.
During the last period the Committee on
Communications of the IBS ran a survey
on communication matters, including topics
related to the IBS website and the Biometric
Bulletin. We would like to thank all the
participants of the survey. In addition data
from Google Analytics were collected about
the website usage. Very useful information
about the Bulletin and the perceptions of
readers about the material were collected.
A report using the collected information is
planned as well as an article in a forthcoming issue of the Bulletin.
Once more your suggestions about the
Bulletin are welcome. Also, ideas for future
featured articles are always welcome too, as
we are always in need of fresh topics for this
successful column.You can send any ideas to
my email, [email protected]
Note that preparations for the 28th IBC, July
10-15 2016, in Victoria, Canada have already
started. Calls for Invited Session Proposals and
Short Courses have been announced.
Best wishes for a Happy 2015!!
Dimitris Karlis
Editor of Journal of Agricultural, Biological and
Environmental Statistics (JABES)
Montserrat (Montse) Fuentes, North Carolina State University
Department of Statistics, Box 8203, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA,
Tel:+1-919-515-1921, Fax: +1-919-515-1169, Email: <[email protected]>
XXVIIIth International
Biometric Conference
10 – 15 July 2016
Victoria, Canada
Region Key
RArg - Argentinean Region
AR - Australasian Region
ROeS - Austro-Swiss Region
RBe - Belgian Region
RBras - Brazilian Region
BIR - British and Irish Region
RCAC - Central American-Caribbean Region
EMR - Eastern Mediterranean Region
ENAR - Eastern North American Region
RF - French Region
DR - German Region
IR - Indian Region
RItl - Italian Region
JR - Japanese Region
RKo - Korean Region
ANed - The Netherlands Region
NR - Nordic Baltic Region
SING - Singapore
REsp - Spanish Region
WNAR - Western North American Region
GBot - Botswana
GCam - Cameroon
GCI - Chile
CHINA - China
GEth - Ethiopia
GGha - Ghana
GKe - Kenya
GNi - Nigeria
PKSTAN - Pakistan
GPol - Poland
GRo - Romania
GSAf - South Africa
GUgan - Uganda
GZim - Zimbabwe
CEN - Central European Network
CN - Channel Network
SUSAN - Sub-Saharan Network
International Business Office
Executive Director: Dee Ann Walker, CAE
Director of Education: Alphonsus Baggett, MEd
Coordinator, Membership: Theresa Delgado
Continued on p. 6
Biometric Bulletin
Training a New Generation of Samurai: Why There’s a Big Data
Skills Gap, and How to Solve It
By Daria Steigman
Just over a year ago, Voyager 1 left our solar system. That made the
little spaceship the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.
While that’s mindboggling on its own, here’s what makes it even
more amazing: Voyager 1 has less computing power than the original IBM personal computer. That PC, released in 1981, had two 5
¼-inch floppy disk drives and 256 kb of memory.
Today, we don’t talk about kilobytes—or megabytes. We’re operating
in gigabytes and terabytes and even petabytes.
It’s a whole new data world.
“The meaning of large has changed,” said Kate Cowles, a professor in
the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University
of Iowa. “We used to think a 10,000 dataset was large. Now we can
collect and store data on vast scales.”
Of course, data per se aren’t terribly useful. It’s all about understanding what to do with them: building the right data set, filtering and
sorting through growing quantities of data, visualizing what you’re
looking at, and applying what you have to solve problems big and
small. In other words, along with new data sets comes the need for
new skill sets.
The demand for these skills is real—and increasing. Take just one
company, Google. A recent Business Insider article cites chairman
Eric Schmidt’s advice to college students: “Google really needs data
analytics people and folks who have studied statistics in college.”
This is a skills challenge that the National Science Foundation (NSF),
an independent U.S. agency tasked with promoting “the progress
of science,” wants universities to tackle. NSF issued a request for
proposals in late 2012 for something with the heady name of
“expeditions in training, research, and education for mathematics and
statistics though quantitative explorations of data.” EXTREEMS-QED,
as the grant was known, had the specific goal:
To support efforts to educate the next generation of
mathematics and statistics undergraduate students to confront new challenges in computational and data-enabled
science and engineering. EXTREEMS-QED projects must
enhance the knowledge and skills of most, if not all, the
institution’s mathematics and statistics majors through
training that incorporates computational tools for analysis of large data sets and for modeling and simulation of
complex systems. The University of Iowa is one of the schools that has risen to the
challenge. Kate Cowles and her colleagues looked at EXTREEMSQED and put together a proposal. They were awarded funding in
summer 2014 and will put a large data analysis certificate program
into effect next year.
An Interdisciplinary Approach
Cowles told Biometric Bulletin that UI’s new certificate program
unites three disciplines: math, statistics, and computer science. In
addition to taking courses in all three departments, students will
also be required to take a data mining course in the Business
Department. There will also be a new capstone course taught by
three faculty members representing the three core disciplines.
“The idea of the capstone class is for students to apply different
techniques to the same data set,” explained Cowles. “While students
will get some lectures, much of the semester will be devoted to
doing hands-on work.” The idea will be to approach the data from
different perspectives—statistics, mathematics, and computer science—so students can learn how the same problem can be tackled
from different points of view.
While each of the quantitative sciences has educated its students
well in its own discipline, until recently no single major had really
zoomed out effectively to look at the big picture. Now multiple
disciplines are collaborating to fill the gap.
In 2013, UI began a campus-wide effort, the Iowa Informatics
Initiative, to promote interdisciplinary research and education in
informatics. The initiative includes a cluster hire of faculty who will
have their primary homes in individual departments but who will
also be affiliated with the new informatics center.
There are new faculty hires studying big data analytics from various
angles in computer science, management sciences, and engineering,
with several more searches underway.
“Many universities are trying to foster interdisciplinary collaboration,”
said Cowles, “because the problems of the world are too big to
solve in a single discipline.”
Applying Data to Real World
This training isn’t just happening in traditional quantitative science
fields; UI’s business school has also set about training future big data
analysts. Nick Street, a professor of management sciences at the
College of Business, told Biometric Bulletin that the college started
a business analytics program in 2013 to teach the tools needed to
make decisions with data. There’s now a graduate business analytics
program that attracted 30 people for the first class. (They had hoped
to get 10.)
“The business analytics degree has been ridiculously successful with
students,” said Street, who added that employers are also very
excited. “There are a lot of companies that are dealing with data life
stages. We have retail and insurance companies excited about working with us and happily hiring our students.”
Biometric Bulletin
Street’s been looking at machine learning and applying data to solve
health care problems since he was in graduate school. (Right now he’s
tackling the challenge of getting better data into electronic medical
records to help with decision making around patient care.) Meanwhile,
Cowles, a spatial statistician, is applying her big-picture thinking to
understanding the impact of weather changes on vegetation intensity.
Former Google senior vice president Jonathan Rosenberg told
Business Insider that “data is the sword of the 21st century, those
who wield it the samurai.” While he was referring to one discipline,
statistics, what’s becoming increasingly clear every day is that there’s
March 2015 Issue Highlights
The March issue includes diverse articles from a range of applications and methodological areas. The Biometric Methodology section
features “Causal mediation analysis with multiple mediators,” by R. M.
Daniel, B. L. De Stavola, S. N. Cousens, and S. Vansteelandt; “On the
selection of ordinary differential equation models with application
to predator-prey dynamical models,” by Xinyu Zhang, Jiguo Cao, and
Raymond J. Carroll; “Instrumental variable additive hazards models,”
by Jialiang Li, Jason Fine, and Alan Brookhart; and “On the relationship between the causal-inference and meta-analytic paradigms for
the validation of surrogate endpoints,” by Ariel Alonso, Wim Van
der Elst, Geert Molenberghs, Marc Buyse, and Tomasz Burzykowski.
In Biometric Practice, articles include “On the analysis of hybrid
designs that combine group- and individual-level data,” by E. Smoot
and S. Haneuse; “Structured functional principal component analysis,”
by Haochang Shou, Vadim Zipunnikov, Ciprian M. Crainiceanu, and
Sonja Greven; “Bayesian nonparametric estimation of targeted agent
effects on biomarker change to predict clinical outcome,” by Rebecca
Graziani, Michele Guindan, and Peter F. Thall; and “Spatial variable
selection methods for investigating acute health effects of fine particulate matter components,” by Laura F. Boehm Vock, Brian J. Reich,
Montserrat Fuentes, and Francesca Dominici.
a need and a role for everyone in our brave new big data world.
*Business Insider article:
*Large Data Analysis Certificate Program: http://www.stat.uiowa.
President’s Corner
Continued from p. 1
of people joined for a purpose”—well, I think that sums us up well.
It also mentions companionship, something else that I hope you
all find in the IBS. Let’s make 2015 another successful year for the
IBS and one where you feel the increasing value of your membership. Let me finish by thanking a few people who have contributed
much to this purpose and companionship over recent years—these
include the outgoing members of the Executive Board:, Hendriek
Boshuizen (ANeD), Wes Johnson (WNAR), Lisa Lavange (ENAR),
Kerrie Mengersen (AR), Peter Njuho (SA), Vicente Núñez-Antón
(REsp), Michael Schemper (ROeS); retiring Biometrics Editor Jeremy
Taylor (ENAR); and, of course, outgoing President Clarice Demétrio
(RBras) who has done so much over her term of office to support
the Society and champion activities and initiatives for developing country members. Finally, I would like to welcome Elizabeth
Thompson (WNAR) as the incoming Vice-President. I look forward
to working with her over the coming years.
Best wishes for the holiday season and a happy IBS active New Year.
John Hinde
[email protected]
As always, lists of papers to appear can be found at the Biometrics
website. Papers to appear in future issues may also be found under
the “Early View” link at the Wiley-Blackwell website, which may be
accessed by IBS members by visiting,
selecting “Biometrics” from the drop-down menu at the “Publications”
link at the top of the page, and accessing the “Click here” link.
News from our Publisher
As noted on the Biometrics website at Wiley Online Library, the
Biometrics Impact Factor for 2013 increased from 1.412 to 1.521,
as reported in the ISI Journal Citation Reports. The Impact Factor is
based on the overall journal citation rate for published articles during
the previous two years. The journal ranks 26 of 119 among Statistics
and Probability journals and 36 of 83 journals in Biology.
Wiley is in the process of developing apps for all of its journals, and
an app for Biometrics is currently in the works. The app will be freely
available to all IBS members and will provide yet another option for
members to enjoy Biometrics content online (on iPhones and iPads).
The app will use a template that has already been implemented for a
number of Wiley journals, including Statistics in Medicine, whose app
is available in the Apple App store (search for “statistics in medicine”)
and provides a preview of the features that will be available with the
Biometrics app.
Biometric Bulletin
Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental
Statistics (JABES) Editor Report
Editor Report
The Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics (JABES)
will feature many exciting and interesting articles in the upcoming issue to be released in December 2014. This issue will include
T. Zhang’s “Test for the First-Order Stationarity for Spatial Point
Processes in Arbitrary Regions,” M. Chen’s “Generalized Isotonized
Mean Estimators for Judgment Post-stratification with Multiple
Rankers,” and C. Gennings’ “Characterization of Weighted Quantile
Sum Regression for Highly Correlated Data in a Risk Analysis Setting.”
Also feature in this issue are O. Martin’s “Modeling of Codling Moth
Damage as a Function of Adult Monitoring, Crop Protection, and
Orchard Characterstics,” K. Kaufeld’s “A Spatio-Temporal Model for
Mountain Pine Beetle Damage,” P. Caragea’s “A Centered Bivariate
Spatial Regression Model for Binary Data with an Application to
Presettlement Vegetation Data in the Midwestern United States” and
H. Worthington’s “Analysing Mark-Recapture-Recovery Data in the
Presence of Missing Covariate Data via Multiple Imputation.” JABES
is also looking forward to featuring to invited review papers by our
Associate Editors including Alison Motsinger’s “A Review of Whole
Genome Modeling in Genome Wide Association Studies,” and Ruth
King’s “Integrated Population Models in Statistical Ecology.”
Next year is already promising to be a busy year for JABES with
JSM, ENAR 2015, and a special issue in Agricultural Statistics to be
released in 2015. Associate Editor, Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, has
been preparing a showcase session titled “Advances is space-time
covariance estimation and serially-dependent extremes” to be presented at JSM 2015 in Seattle. This session will include R. G. Niyogi’s
“Low-rank spatially varying cross-covariance estimation,” B. Li’s
“Nonparametric space/space-time covariance estimation,” B. Reich’s
“Modeling serially-dependent extremes” and a discussion by Sudipto
Banerjee. There will also be an invited session at ENAR 2015 for
JABES organized by Associate Editor Murali Haran titled “Journal of
Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics Highlights.” This
will feature E. M. Schliep’s “Multilevel Latent Gaussian Process Model
for Mixed Discrete and Continuous Multivariate Response Data,” D.
Senturk’s “Nonlinear Varying-Coefficient Models with Application to
a Photosynthesis Study,” J. Grego’s “Limited-Information Modeling
of Loggerhead Turtle Population Size,” and J. Huang’s “Analysis
of Variance of Integro-Differential Equations with Application to
Population Dynamics of Cottong Aphids.” JABES is looking forward
to these presentations and seeing the hard work these Associate
Editors have put into preparing these sessions.
There will also be a special issue of JABES to be released in 2015,
co-edited by Dan Nettleton and Rob Tempelman. This issue will be
titled “Statistical Genomics and Transcriptomics in Agriculture.” Email
[email protected] for more information.
For more information on upcoming issues, the editorial board, and
the aims and scope of the journal please visit our website www. We also accept submissions of books to
review in the upcoming issues of JABES, to submit a book for review
please contact Mikyoung Jung at [email protected]
Thank you for your continued support to JABES!
Biometric Bulletin
Montse Fuentes, Editor-in-Chief
Region News
Australasian Region (AR)
Australasian Biometric Conference, 2015
Biometrics by the Harbour
Hobart, Tasmania 30th November – 4th December
Save the Date: On behalf of the Australasian Region of the IBS
we invite you to join us for our biennial conference. Share your work
with colleagues working with statistical tools on problems in the
biosciences, including ecology, agriculture, biomedical science, public
health, environmental science and forestry.
The conference will be held at one of Hobart’s oldest hotels –
Hadley’s Hotel (, located in the heart of
Hobart. Hobart itself is well known for its history, its natural beauty,
its food and culture, and as a gateway to pristine wilderness.
Come and enjoy a world-class conference in a stimulating environment!
Details will be posted at:
Brian Niven, IBS-AR New Zealand
Sub-treasurer for three decades.
Thanking Brian Niven
Brian Niven, who has been
the IBS-AR New Zealand
Sub-treasurer for the last 30
years, recently retired from the
University of Otago. IBS-AR
thanks Brian for all his work
over the decades and wishes
him a happy retirement. An
article on Brian’s career can be
found on page 5 of http://www. s/IBS-AR-NewsletterOct-2014.pdf.
Vanessa Cave
Austro-Swiss Region (ROeS)
After introducing the new RoES President, Leonhard Held, (Volume
31, Issue2), we want to inform you on some sectional level changes
and activities. In 2014, Franz Koenig was named as new President and
of the Viennese Biometric Section (WBS) of the ROeS. Franz Koenig
is an Associate Professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
He is the head of the working group “Adaptive Designs and Genetic
Statistics” at CeMSIIS and member of the Ethics Committee of the
Medical University of Vienna.
Also various seminars and workshops were held by the ROeS as
well as by the individual sections highlighting the great activity within
our region:
A 2-day workshop on “Adaptive Designs and Multiple Testing
Procedures” was organized jointly by the ROeS and the DR
at Novartis in Basel, Switzerland on June 5-6, 2014. About 60
participants had the pleasure to listen to distinguished speakers
from academia, health authorities and pharmaceutical industry.
Talks focused on adaptive designs, sample re-estimation methods and enrichment designs. Invited speakers included Peter
Bauer (University of Vienna), Norbert Benda (EMA), Frank Miller
(Stockholm University), Tim Friede (University Medical Center
Göttingen) and many others.
Russell Millar (University of Auckland), recipient of an IBS award for Outstanding Dedication and Exemplary Service.
Congratulations Russell Millar
Congratulations to Russell Millar (Associate Professor, University of
Auckland) who recently received an award from IBS for Outstanding
Dedication and Exemplary Service as Biometrics Editor, 2011-2013.
He reports that there was a preponderance of submissions from
the medical and genetics fields and encourages active researchers
to submit works in more diverse areas. In particular, the Biometric
Practice section is ideal for works of a more applied nature if, for
example, they demonstrate fresh insight from novel use of recent
A seminar on “Meta-Analysis of Clinical Safety Data,” organized
by the BBS (Basel Biometric Section) of the ROeS on October
2, 2014 in Basel, Switzerland. More than 80 participants were
held captive by talks centered on the analysis of adverse event
data from more than one clinical trial. Both FDA and CIOMS
are working on guidance documents in that area, which might
have contributed to the high interest the topic attracted. Talks
discussed the merits of Bayesian and frequentist approaches,
issues with time to event analyses, things to consider during
model selection and gave insights into regulatory perspectives
on ‘Safety Meta-Analysis.’ Invited speakers from academia, the
industry and regulatory agencies included Stephen Evans, Brenda
Crowe, Michael Gaffney, Amy Xia, Tarek Hammad, Jam Slattery
and Mark Levenson.
The WBS has organized three half-day seminars, each with
several presentations dedicated to a certain topic. The summer
seminar “Re-use of health data for medical research” was organized by the Medical University of Vienna on re-use of health. At
the autumn seminar the University of Natural Resources and Life
Biometric Bulletin
Sciences presented their current statistical research ranging from
extreme value statistics and geostatistical models to reproducible
research for simulation studies. In the beginning of December
the last WBS seminar of this year is jointly organized with the
IDEAL Project (FP7 HEALTH 2013 – 602552) on clinical trial
methodology with Stephen Senn, Holger Dette, Bill Rosenberger,
and Ralf-Dieter Hilgers.
A seminar on “Data sharing in clinical development” was
held jointly by the BBS and EFPSI (European Federation of
Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry) on November 13,
2014 at Actelion, Basel, Switzerland. Data sharing in clinical
development is a hot topic since the appearance of the EMA
draft guideline in 2013. Recently, EMA released its policy on the
publication of clinical data. Around 40 participants enjoyed the
informative talks from invited representatives from academia
and industry and got engaged into lively and insightful discussions on this topic.
Research talks were organized by the regional sections of the
ROeS. Research talks were held by the WBS of the ROeS, highlighting presentations by Prof. Holger Dette (Ruhr-Universität
Bochum) on “Optimal design for dose finding studies with an
active control,” Prof. Bernhard Klingenberg (Williams College,
Massachusetts) on “Improved confidence interval for the MantelHaenszel risk differences” and Alex Dmitrienko (Quintiles)
on “Multiple testing methodology in the context of subgroup
A research talk on “Moving beyond the comfort zone for conducting clinical trials” by Dr. L.J. Wei was organized by the BBS
of the ROeS at Actelion, Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Wei’s research is
in the area of developing statistical methods for the design and
analysis of clinical trials. The audience could highly profit from the
insights provided by an expert in the field of clinical trials. De Stavola from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
gave an interesting talk on Mediation analysis with multiple mediators
with an application to the study of adolescent eating disorders.
Sophie Vanbelle
Brazilian Region (RBras)
The 2015 joint RBras and SEAGRO meetings will be held from
20 – 24 July 2015 in the Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science
and Technology, Unesp, Campus of Presidente Prudente, São Paulo
State. The local organisers, chaired by Aparecida Souza ([email protected], and scientific committee are preparing a very interesting
and exciting meeting. Some speakers are already confirmed: John
Hinde (IBS President), María L. Durbán Reguera (Universidad Carlos
III de Madrid, Spain) and Fernando Moura (UFRJ). The program is
being carefully constructed. The target is on “Statistical methods and
new challenges,” with special attention to attract students and young
researchers. The idea is to offer a variety of subjects in the form of
short courses. Young researchers are encouraged to apply for the
best doctorate thesis. It will also be an occasion to celebrate RBras‘s
60th anniversary.
Further information is being updated at
We respectfully inform that José Maria Pompeu Memória (19172014), one of RBras founders, passed away on 9 November this year.
Prof. Memória gave important contributions to the development of
applied statistics to our country. Those that had the honor to know
him will affectionately remember him.
Dominik Heinzmann
Belgian Region (RBe)
Annual Meeting of the Belgian Statistical Society
The 22th Annual Meeting of the Belgian Statistical Society, held in
Louvain-La-Neuve, during 5-7 November 2014, attracted about 150
participants. The Quetelet Society (Belgian Branch of the Biometric
Society) organized two sessions, meeting with great success. During
the first session, one of the two winners of the Quetelet Prize from
Hasselt University presented his work.The Quetelet Prize is a possibility given to Institutional members of the Quetelet Society to award
one or more students for the excellence of their master (PhD) thesis
in Statistics. Hans Vernooij presented the work of his master thesis
on “Antibody profile related to microarray data of MAP infected
dendritic cells.” The goal of his experiment was to describe the
relationship between vaccine induced anti-body response and gene
expression of DC derived from MAP infected calves exposed in vitro
to MAP bacteria. Nele Goeyvaerts is the second Quetelet Prize winner for her work on “Statistical and mathematical models to estimate
the transmission of airborne infections from current status data.”
Her PhD thesis was motivated by the fact that biomedical studies
often generate repeated measures of multiple outcomes on a set of
subjects. She therefore developed a biologically intuitive model for
the joint evolution of these outcomes while assessing inter-subject
heterogeneity. During the second session, the invited speaker Bianca
Prof. Memória in the beginning of his career with C. R. Rao and R. A. Fisher.
Luzia Trinca
British and Irish Region (BIR)
Mendelian Randomisation: Past Success & Future
Challenges – 14 November 2014
On Friday 14th November, the IBS-BIR held a meeting on the
topic of “Mendelian Randomisation (MR).” A morning workshop
was organised and aimed especially for career-young researchers
to provide some background knowledge to the afternoon talks.
Richard Emsley (University of Manchester) and Stephen Burgess
Biometric Bulletin
(University of Cambridge) gave two excellent introductory talks on
“Instrumental Variables and MR,” respectively, with particular emphasis given to the underlying assumptions and methods for analysis.
The afternoon session commenced with Simon Thompson
(University of Cambridge) giving his Presidential Address, where he
considered “Some extensions to Mendelian Randomisation,” and
some surprises. The behaviour of weak instrument bias and naïve
weighted allele scores were some of the surprises that Simon
considered. Following this, Vanessa Didelez (University of Bristol)
discussed the advantages and problems of conducting “Instrumental
variable analyses with covariates” and the trade-off between potential efficiency gains versus model misspecification. After the tea
break, John Thompson (University of Leicester) presented some
“Cautionary Notes when Conducting Mendelian Randomization.”
In a very thought provoking talk John helped to remind everyone
that MR analyses should be conducted with caution and that the
evaluation of MR assumptions ultimately should rely on biological
knowledge and subjective judgment. He proposed a checklist to
help researchers gauge when published MR analyses may or may
not be appropriate. Finally the day was appropriately rounded off
by George Davey Smith (University of Bristol), one of the pioneers
of MR, who talked about “Mendelian Randomisation: What does the
Future Hold?” George presented a number of examples showing
how confidence in the assumptions can be built up through the
assessment of multiple variants and by interacting instruments on
an appropriate exogenous variable that modifies the effect of the
instrument on the intermediate phenotype.
A great day was had by all those who attended, and slides from the
meeting are now available on the BIR website (available to members
Speakers at the “Mendelian Randomisation: Past Success and Future Challenges” meeting. L-R:Vanessa Didelez, Simon Thompson, George Davey
Smith, John Thompson, Stephen Burgess, Richard Emsley.
“Big Data” Meeting – 17 September 2014
In September, the IBS-BIR hosted a half-day meeting on the theme of
Big Data. The diverse range of speakers was testament to the wide
variety of problems which fall under the big data umbrella.
The first talk was by Jaakko Peltonen (Aalto University and University
of Tampere), whose group has developed a more intelligent alternative to Google Scholar. With over 50 million articles available
online, Jaakko discussed ways researchers can more efficiently find
the articles they are after. Next up was Tom Thorne (University of
Edinburgh) who presented work on “Bayesian non-parametric and
biological networks.” Tom discussed a number of high dimensional
search methods, including graphical models, hidden Markov mod-
els, hierarchical Dirichlet processes and graphical Gaussian models,
applying these to data from S. cerevisiae and C. glabrata. The third
talk was by Finn Lindgren (University of Bath) who has bravely
attempted to analyse the vast amount of metereological data available; in total, there are over 20 million data timeseries collected
over 160 years from up to 350 weather stations! Yoram Bachrach
(Microsoft Research Cambridge) rounded off the day with a very
entertaining talk on social media networks. While the methods were
relatively simple, the results were fascinating. With data from over
58,000 Facebook volunteers available (a sample size which made
most researchers in the audience very jealous!), it is possible to build
up an incredibly accurate profile of a Facebook user only from which
places, celebrities, songs, etc. they “Like.”
Slides from the talks are now available on the BIR website (available
to members only):
*Writing acknowledgement: Doug Speed and Vincent Plagnol
Michael Sweeting
Central American – Caribbean
Region (RCAC)
Members of the IBS RCAC were instrumental in the staging the 24th
Colombian Statistics Symposium which was held in Bogotá, Colombia,
from 24th to 26th July 2014. This symposium was organised by the
Statistics Department of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and
supported by the Universidad Sergio Arboleda. Adriana Pérez (IBS
RCAC member), in a plenary session, gave a presentation entitled
“Statistical Aspects of the Three Main Projects from the Tobacco
Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults” and led
a short course entitled “Statistical methods for handling missing
data in clinical studies with univariate and multivariate outcomes.”
Other short courses offered as part of the symposium were in the
fields of Statistical Software, Official Statistics, Sampling, Time Series
and Multivariate Analysis and had course leaders from a range
of regional and international institutions such as Imperial College
London and University of Southampton in the UK, Stockholm
University (Sweden), Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
and Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Members of the IBS
Central American Region comprised 10% of the participants in the
Symposium (25 of 250).
In conjunction with the 7th Regional Meeting of the Central American
Region of the IBS, the 25th Colombian Statistics Symposium will be
held August 5-8, 2015 in Quindío, Colombia. Confirmed invited
speakers and their respective research interests include:
• Anthony C. Atkinson, of the London School of Economics, UK
(Regression Methods, Optimum Experiments, Statistical Analysis
for Clinical Trials, and Robust Analysis)
• Donald Rubin, of the Harvard University, USA (Missing Data,
Bayesian Statistics, and Sampling)
• Mikis Stasinoupulos, from the London Metropolitan University, UK
(generalized additive model location, scale and shape (GAMLSS)
• María Durbán, from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
(Mixed Models and Nonparametric Regression).
Biometric Bulletin
For additional information on these 2015 meetings please email
[email protected], or visit http://www.simposioestadistica.unal.
Novie Younger
Dutch Region (ANed)
IBS Channel Network Conference 2015, April 20-22,
Nijmegen, the Netherlands
We are pleased to invite you for the 5th Channel Network Conference
(20-22 April 2015). This biennial conference is organized by the
regions Belgium, France, Great-Britain/Ireland and the Netherlands
of the IBS. This time it will take place in the beautiful and lively city
of Nijmegen.
The meeting discusses the newest statistical methodology for the
analysis of biological and medical data. It is a three-day conference, with two courses, invited and contributed sessions. We are
proud that Sylvia Richardson (Cambridge, UK) has agreed to be
the keynote speaker. In addition, we will have three invited sessions
on “Confounder modelling and selection,” “Integrated population
modelling” and “Dynamic prediction.” Moreover, the conference
will start with two courses on: Splines by Paul Eilers (Rotterdam,
The Netherlands) and “Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation”
(INLA) by Andrea Riebler (Trondheim, Norway). Finally, the conference will end with a satellite symposium on Inferring dynamic genetic
We welcome contributed talks and posters. Deadline for abstract
submission is January 10, 2015, 12.00h. Deadline for early-bird registration is February 22, 2015, 12.00h. Further information can be
found on the website
Rosa Meijer
Working Group ‘Teaching and Didactics in Biometry’
The working group ‘Teaching and
Didactics in Biometry’ has published a Springer-Book ‘Zeig mir
Biostatistik—Ideen und Material für
einen guten Biometrie-Unterricht’
(Show me Biostatistics! Ideas and
Material for a good BiometryCourse) edited by Geraldine
Rauch, Rainer Muche and Reinhard
Vonthein (ISBN softcover 978-3642-54335-7, e-book 978-3-64254336-4). This book contains all
submissions to the 2013 Teaching
Award for the ‘Best University
Teaching Material in Biometry.’ The
different chapters describe ready-to-use concepts and ideas for
creative teaching. Supplementary material such as working sheets,
software and other material is provided online and can be downloaded by the readers. The book is available under: http://www.
This list of contributing authors is: Prof. Dr. Iris Burkholder, Dr. Bettina
Danner (winner of the teaching award), Dr. Jens Dreyhaupt, Beate
Einsiedler, Theodor Framke, Sebastian Hoffmeister, Dr. Christian Kohl,
Johannes Krisam, Jochen Kruppa, Dr. Hartmut Lanzinger, Dr. Benjamin
Mayer (winner of the teaching award), Marianne Meule, Prof. Dr.
Rainer Muche, Aline Naumann, Dr. Geraldine Rauch, Prof. Dr. Arne
Ring, Anja Sander, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stadtmüller, Dr. Reinhard Vonthein.
This book publication would not have been possible without
the generous donation of the KFSE (Konferenz der Anwender in
Forschung und Entwicklung). We thank Dr. Carina Ortseifen for the
helpful support.
(Geraldine Rauch)
German Region (DR)
Axel Benner
Working Group ‘Further Education’
After the great success of a series of ‘Statistics in Practice’ sessions
during the recent years at the annual meeting of the German Region,
the corresponding organizing working group proposed to extend
the format to an international platform. The organizers of the IBC
2014 in Florence received information about the concept of the session which was finally acknowledged and accepted by the program
committee. On July 10th of this year, in the middle of the conference
from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., James Carpenter (London) and Rod Little
(Michigan) lectured the topic ‘Practical Approaches to the Analysis
of Partially Observed Data.’ From the more than 150 participants,
outstanding positive feedback was received, resulting in probably the
starting point for the continuation of ‘Statistics in Practice’ during
upcoming international conferences. Initial discussion had already
taken place with the organizers of the IBC 2016 in Canada.
The slides from James Carpenter and Rod Little are available on
the workgroups homepage at http://www.biometrische-gesellschaft.
(Willi Sauerbrei , Freiburg; Christoph Muysers, Berlin)
Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR)
News from the Region
EMR, in collaboration with the Italian and Spanish Regions, will keep
co-organizing sessions at the regional conference. For 2015, Christos
Nakas from Greece has agreed to represent EMR in the AustroSwiss and Italian conference to be held in Milan, Italy in June 2015
in a joint session (organized by Laura Antolini) on the use of ROC
quantities and derived measures on: modeling aspects, categorizations of continuous variables, and model assessment as follows:
1.Malu Luz Calle - “Identification of high-order interactions using
the likelihood-ratio score optimal ROC curve”
2.Irantzu Barrio - “Categorization of continuous predictors in the
development of prediction models by maximization of the AUC “
3.Christos Nakas - “Recent advances in ROC surface methodology”
4.Laura Antolini - “Measuring prediction improvment of additional markers: strenghts and limitations of the commonly used
Biometric Bulletin
Dimitris Karlis from Greece will represent EMR in the Spanish conference to be held in Bilbao Spain in September 2015.
Israeli Biostatistics Forum: The 2nd Meeting of the Revived Israeli
Biostatistics Forum, a branch of the EMR-IBS, was held on the 16th
of November 2014 at the Souraski Center, Sheba Medical Center,
Israel. The meeting was organized by Havi Murad (Gertner Institute,
ISRAEL), President of EMR-IBS, in collaboration with the Israeli
Statistical Association. The program on Genetics and Bioinformatics
was organized by David Zucker (Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
The weather was quite stormy, and roads were closed. There were
66 participants.
The five speakers were:
Malka Gorfine (Tel-Aviv University)
Heritability Estimation using Regularized Regression
Approach (HERRA)
3rd talk: A replicable discovery is significant in at least two different systems.
Not replicable: 1. Effect is real in the population, but one
experiment missed it.
2. Effect is real in one population and not real in the
How to handle differences in studies (sample size,
noise, technology).
What is the meaning of replicability when we have
more than 2 samples?
5th talk: How do we automatically control for ‘discoveries’ in
multiple experiments?
Saharon presented a sequential approach that:
• Allows different investigators to share samples
• Guarantees overall control of FDR
Problem: How to address the fact that typically different
studies are not from exactly the same system.
Conferences in the Region
The 8th EMR Conference will be held in Cappadocia, Nevsehir,
Turkey between May 11-15, 2015. The early bird registration date is
February 31, 2015. More details can be found at
Benny Yakir (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Poisson Process and the FDR
Ruth Heller (Tel-Aviv University)
Replicability analysis for “omics” research
16th International Symposium on Econometrics, Operations Research
and Statistics will be held in Edirne, Turkey in 7-10 May 2015. The
web page of the conference is
Eran Halperin (Tel-Aviv University)
Ancestry Inference from Population Data
Saharon Rosset (Tel-Aviv University)
Quality Preserving Databases: Statistically Sound and
Efficient Use of Public Databases for an Infinite Sequence
of Tests.
Or Zuk (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) discussed the five
talks. The audience participated in the discussion. Important
points raised in the discussion were:
1st talk: How do we estimate heritability of phenotype?
Shift in focus in GWAS: from estimation of outcome (individual prediction) and of parameters (estimation of individual regression coefficients) – to estimation of prediction
error itself (heritability, r2).
Heritability estimation: which is better?
Random effect models (GCTA) vs. fixed effect models
In Polygenic model with up to hundreds of causal SNPs:
HERRA is better, using fast methods for variable screening.
4th talk: How do we infer hidden ancestry from genetic data?
Eran offers statistical and computationally efficient solutions.
Enables asking new scientific questions: (e.g. how socioeconomic factors’ influence on mating, etc.).
Rare variants: how to take into account local correlations
between SNPs? (LD).
In current SPA model presented, SNP frequencies are
assumed independent.
2nd talk: Allows Family Discovery Rate (FDR) to control over
discoveries (not hypotheses), under the assumption that
number of discoveries has a Poisson distribution.
Problem: distribution of number of discoveries has overdispersion.
Anil Dolgun
Eastern North American Region
In Memoriam: Professor Marvin Zelen
Professor Marvin Zelen of the Department of Biostatistics at the
Harvard School of Public Health passed away on 15 November,
2014 at the age of 87. Professor Zelen was the Lemuel Shattuck
Research Professor of Statistical Science, as well as a member of
the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Emeritus) at Harvard University.
He served for a decade in the 1980s as Chair of the Department
of Biostatistics and was known as a giant in the field, as well as a
man of vision, generosity and warmth. Professor Zelen was known
for developing the statistical methods and study designs that
are used in clinical cancer trials, in which experimental drugs are
tested for toxicity, effectiveness and proper dosage, as well as many
other aspects of trial design. Professor Zelen has been recognized
around the world through many awards and accolades, including
being awarded the American Cancer Society’s highest honor – a
Medal of Honor. For a full memoriam, see: http://www.hsph.harvard.
2015 ENAR Spring Meeting, 15–18 March, Miami,
Florida, USA
The 2015 Spring Meeting of the IBS Eastern North American Region,
in conjunction with the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) and
section of the American Statistical Association (ASA), will be held
15-18 March at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Miami is a global metropolis with booming international business, vibrant culture and has some
of the best beaches in the world! People from all over come to
Biometric Bulletin
Miami to enjoy the sunny weather, the exciting nightlife and the fine
dining. Miami features activities sure to please all ENAR attendees,
including the Bayside Market, an open-air mall, the Vizcaya Museum
and Gardens, and the Everglades National Park.
The scientific program will once again be outstanding, with a
wide variety of topics including data sciences (big data), genomics, clinical trials, neuroimaging, biomarkers, health policy, electronic
health records, ecology and epidemiology. The Presidential Invited
Speaker will be Dr. David L. DeMets, the Max Halperin Professor
of Biostatistics and former Chair of the Department of Biostatistics
and Medical Informatics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The title of his talk is “Big Data, Big Opportunities, Big Challenges.”
Dr. DeMets has been an inspirational role model for more than a
generation of biostatisticians working in clinical research and has
literally written the book on Data Monitoring Committees! He is
a past president of ENAR and of the Society for Clinical Trials. We
are also very pleased that Dr. Tilmann Gneiting, Group Leader at the
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Professor
of Computational Statistics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
(KIT) in Germany will be presenting the IMS Medallion Lecture. Dr.
Gneiting, also the editor for Physical Science, Computing, Engineering
and the Environment at the Annals of Applied Statistics, will present
a talk entitled “Uncertainty Quantification in Complex Simulation
Models Using Ensemble Copula Coupling.”
A complete listing of the many invited sessions to be presented at
the meeting can be found at In addition, the program
will feature both full and half-day short courses by experts in their
fields: “Bayesian clinical trials” (David Draper); “Statistical methods for
fMRI and EEG data analysis” (Martin Lindquist & Hernando Ombao);
“Design considerations in Early Phase Clinical Trials: Phase I, Phase I/
II Trials” (John O’Quigley & Alexia Iasonos); “Personalized Medicine
and Dynamic Treatment Regimes” (Marie Davidian & Butch Tsiatis);
and “Data Science and High-Performing Statistical Computing” (Marc
A. Suchard & Martijn J. Schmuemie).
In addition to the short courses, several tutorials will once again be
offered, running concurrently with the scientific sessions. The topics
range from group sequential designs using R to Bayesian computation using PROC MCMC, with many more! Additionally, roundtables
will be offered again, allowing for an opportunity to interact with
experts in their fields in a less formal setting. Many of the roundtables
will focus on developing statisticians as leaders and are an opportunity to interact with some of the outstanding ENAR leaders!
Once again, the Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics workshop will take
place on Sunday afternoon, and Sunday evening will feature the
new member reception, opening mixer and poster session, during
which time the ENAR Regional Advisory Board Poster Competition will
be held. The Council for Emerging and New Statisticians will hold a
student mixer on Monday night and a Tuesday luncheon, to provide
networking opportunities for students and recent graduates. Also,
the Career Placement Center will take place throughout the meeting, to offer assistance to those seeking employment.
The Tuesday night social event will take place at sea: a dinner cruise
aboard the Biscayne Lady yacht. We will be picked up by boat at the
Riverwalk in front of the hotel and will enjoy a memorable evening
of breathtaking views of the Miami skyline, great food, nice conversation, music and dancing.
ENAR is grateful for the outstanding service of the 2015 Program
Committee Chair and Associate Chair, Mithat Gönen, and Brisa
Sánchez; IMS Program Chair, Lurdes Y.T. Inoue; local arrangements
Chair Tülay Koru Şengül, and all of the committee members.
2015 JSM 8-13 August, Seattle, Washington, USA
The Joint Statistical Meetings will return to Seattle, Washington in
2015, and ENAR is fortunate to have Olga Marchenko be our
representative to the Program Committee. If you have ideas for the
meeting, feel free to contact Olga: [email protected]
2016 ENAR Spring Meeting, 6-9 March, Austin, Texas,
Stay tuned for information about the 2016 ENAR Spring Meeting in
Austin, Texas!
ENAR Kicks Off a New Webinar Series!
ENAR is pleased to announce a new education initiative: webinars!
This initiative will promote continuing education for professional and
student statisticians by disseminating cutting-edge knowledge to a
wide audience.
An ENAR webinar (or “webENAR”) can strengthen your background in methodology and software, provide an opportunity to
learn about a topic outside of your primary area of specialization, or
deepen your understanding of an area in which you already work.
We invite you to participate and benefit from the expertise of some
of North America’s leading statisticians and biostatisticians.
The Webinar Committee of the ENAR Regional Advisory Board
(RAB) is coordinating this ongoing series of one to two hour webinars given by renowned experts. Registration fees are by membership category, with a reduced fee for our student members. Note: As
a benefit of ENAR membership, you may participate in one webinar
per year at no charge. The webinars are planned to be broadly available, and we encourage groups at your institution or workplace to
participate together. More details can be found at: http://www.enar.
Leslie McClure
Italian Region (RItl)
The first Joint Meeting of the Austro-Swiss and Italian Regions will
be held in Milan on 15-19 May 2015 –
images/stories/jointmeeting/ibs_01.pdf. More information will follow
Livio Finos
Japanese Region (JR)
The 2014 Japanese Joint Statistical Meeting
The Biometric Society of Japan is one of the six sponsoring organizations of the meeting, and the 2014 Japanese Joint Statistical Meeting
was held on 13-16 September at Hongo Campus of University
of Tokyo in Tokyo. The Biometric Society of Japan organized the
Biometric Symposium on recent advances in meta-analysis, which
consists of an overview of network meta-analysis and its applications,
meta-analysis of dose-response analysis, evaluation of surrogacy of
endpoints and an introduction to the Japanese Cochrane Branch,
which has been recently established. The Society also organized
a session for a lecture by the winner of the Young Biostatisticians
Biometric Bulletin
Award presented by the Biometric Society of Japan. Dr. Hisashi
Noma (Institute of Statistical Mathematics) gave us a lecture on
multiple-imputation based methods for epidemiologic researches.
Prof. Manabu Iwasaki (Seikei University), who is a member of the
Biometric Society of Japan, gave a tutorial lecture on matching techniques in observational studies.
People who contributed to the invited session entitled “Recent advances in
meta-analysis” at the 2014 Japanese Joint Statistical Meeting: Drs.Teramukai (organizer),Yajyu, Noma, Oba, Fujii, and Takahashi (from left to right).
2014 Biometric Seminar
The Biometric Seminar was held on 19-20 December, 2014 at the
Campus Plaza Kyoto. The seminar provided tutorial lectures on multiplicity issues in clinical researches. The lectures began with classical
methodology including Bonferroni-type methods and closed testing
procedures, and covered advanced methodologies including fallback
method, gatekeeping methods and graphical approaches. Lessons
learned from real clinical trials were discussed from sponsor and
regulatory perspectives.
The Biometric Workshop
A workshop will be held on 9 January 2015 at Kyoto University.
The topic of the workshop is entitled “Educational program for
professional biostatisticians.” Inappropriate data handling in several
medical researches has been a social problem in Japan. Recently,
the Biometric Society of Japan has released a statement on clinical
research and an ethical guideline for biostatisticians. The workshop
will consist of a lecture on the statement and the guideline and some
related group works to fix understandings.
The 2015Annual Meeting of the Biometric Society of
The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Biometric Society of Japan will be
held on 12-13 March 2015 at Inamori Hall in Shirankaikan, Kyoto
University, Kyoto, Japan. Brain imaging data are expected to be useful
to overcome difficulties in diagnosis and prediction of outcome in
various disease areas including Alzheimer disease. Due to the complicated and high-dimensional natures of brain imaging data, many
statistical challenges arise. The Society is organizing an invited session
on statistical issues in brain researches, and several talks will be presented from statistical and medical view points. Prof. Shigeyuki Matsui
(Nagoya University), who is the winner of the Biometric Society of
Japan Award 2014 for Outstanding Scientific Contribution, will give us
a lecture on his recent contributions. A tutorial seminar will also be
held on efficient use of medical record data in risk assessment of
Satoshi Hattori
2015 Special Lecture
The 2015 Special Lecture of the Biometric Society of Japan will be
held on 9 January 2015 at the Kyoto University. Prof. Tosiya Sato
(Kyoto University) will give a special talk entitled “The ICH Statistical
Guideline: the Origin of the Concepts of Trial Statistician, FAS, and
Non-inferiority Trial.” He will share with us his experience in developing the ICH E9 Guideline and discuss some practical issues.
Biometric Bulletin
Polish Region (GPol)
Zofia Hanusz
Biometric Bulletin
Western North American Region
2015 WNAR Meeting
The 2015 WNAR/IMS Meeting will be in Boise, Idaho from 21-24
June and hosted by Boise State University. Boise is located on the
Boise River in southwestern Idaho and is the capital and most populous city in Idaho. There are a number of recreational activities available in Boise, include extensive hiking and biking opportunities in the
foothills north of the town. The Boise River is a common destination
for fishing, swimming, and rafting. The local organizer is Kyungduk Ko.
Details about the meeting will be posted on the WNAR web page as they become available.
Announcements and News
2015 WNAR Student Paper Competition
WNAR sponsors students who enter the student paper competition. All entrants receive their registration fees and banquet dinner
ticket for free. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the best papers
in written and oral competitions. Information on the 2015 WNAR
Student Paper Competition, registration information, and program
details for the meeting will be posted as they become available: We look forward to seeing you there.
Megan Othus
Call for IBC2016 Short Course Proposals
IBS on LinkedIn - Join our Group &
Get Connected to Colleagues Across
the Globe
IBS has created a LinkedIn Group for biometrics industry professionals to become a part of…and network
with your colleagues instantaneously! Post discussions
to the Group and get comments/feedback from Group
members on their perspectives or experiences. A great
benefit of this Group is that it’s a very easy and free way to communicate with your colleagues who live all around the world. Being
connected to the IBS Group will allow you to see other connection
possibilities as well and broaden your professional network. The possibilities are endless. Join our Group today by visiting www.linkedin.
com, and search under Groups for ‘International Biometric Society.’
The Applied Public Health Statistics Section of the
American Public Health Association (APHA) (https:// invites nominations for the 2015 Mortimer
Spiegelman Award, which honors a statistician below the age of
40 in the calendar year of the award who has made outstanding
contributions to health statistics, especially public health statistics.
The award was established in 1970 and is presented annually at
the APHA meeting.
The award serves the following three purposes:
1. To honor the outstanding achievements of both the
recipient and Spiegelman.
2. To encourage further involvement in public health by the
finest young statisticians.
The IBS Education Committee, together with the International
Program Committee of the 28th International Biometric
Conference (IBC2016), to be held July 10–15 in Victoria, British
Columbia, Canada, is calling for proposals for short courses.
Our goal is to provide courses that will attract registrants from
a number of different application areas. We also want to reach
out to potential participants from economically developing
countries. Course selection will be by committee consensus
and will take into account how the courses complement
and enhance the scientific program of the IBC. A conference
course is usually taught by one or more instructors on a topic
that is of interest to many potential IBC participants. Normally,
short courses are held on the Sunday before the start of the
Conference, which will be July 10, 2016. The course can either
last the full day (six – eight hours) or a half day (four hours).
Proposals should include motivation, proposed content(s), and
potential target audience of the course, as well as a description
of the previous teaching experience and subject area expertise of the instructor(s). We also ask that the proposal include
contact details of one – two participants of a previous course
taught by the instructor(s) whom we may contact if needed.
Please use the form (Please click here for the proposal template.) for the proposal and send it, preferably by email, to the
Education Committee Chair, Pascale Tubert-Bitter at pascale.
[email protected] with a copy to the IBS office at [email protected]
Proposals for short courses should be submitted electronically
before March 16, 2015, and proposals will be selected by the
Education Committee by June 15, 2015.
3. To increase awareness of APHA and the Applied Public
Health Statistics Section in the academic statistical community.
To be eligible, a candidate must have been born in 1976 or later.
Please email a nominating letter that states the candidate’s date of
birth and how their contributions relate to public health concerns,
up to three letters of support, and the candidate’s CV to the Award
Committee Chair, Amy Herring, at [email protected], by April
1, 2015.
Biometric Bulletin
2016 International Biometric Conference Call for Invited Session Proposals
The International Program Committee (IPC) of the XXVIIIth International Biometric Conference (IBC2016) calls for invited
session proposals. IBC2016 will be held July 10–15 at the Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Victoria is named the ‘City of Gardens’ and provides easy access to recreational activities like kayaking, whale watching,
hiking, and more.
An invited session brings together a small number of speakers (two – four) on a particular statistical topic. In addition,
a discussant may form part of a session. A discussant describes the latest research in an area of statistical theory or
application and makes it accessible to a ‘non-expert’ audience.
We encourage the submission of proposals covering a wide range of topics in the theory and application of statistics
to biological and life sciences. Sessions that involve speakers from diverse geographical regions are encouraged where
Invited session proposals should be sent by email to the IBC2016 IPC Chairman, Fred van Eeuwijk: [email protected]
Proposals should include:
Your name, affiliation, contact address, and email address
Suggested session title and keywords
Motivations for the proposed invitation
Suggested organizer (possibly yourself), speakers, and discussant
Tentative titles for the talks of invited speakers
Use of a specific template is compulsory, see the IBC2016 website.
Please note that a session organizer cannot be an invited speaker of the same session.
Proposals should be submitted before 1 February 2015. Proposals will be evaluated by the IPC, and the
authors will be informed by early March 2015 of acceptance, rejection or revision (on topic and speakers). Revised
proposals will need to be resubmitted by 15 March 2015. By early April 2015, authors of revised proposals will be
informed about the decision of the IPC for acceptance or rejection. (Acceptance of a proposal comes without financial
compensations for the proposers of the session.)
Biometric Bulletin
Biometric Bulletin
onna Spiegelman, professor of
epidemiologic methods at Harvard
School of Public Health (HSPH), has
received a Director’s Pioneer Award
from the National Institutes of Health
(NIH). One of 10 researchers honored,
Spiegelman is believed to be the first
epidemiologist and biostatistician, and
the first faculty member from a school of
public health, to receive the award.
The five-year, $500,000/year prize recognizes “individual scientists of exceptional creativity, who propose pioneering,
and possibly transforming, approaches
to major challenges in biomedical and
behavioral research,” according to the NIH website. Recipients, along with other awardees in the NIH
Common Fund High-Risk High-Reward Program, will be honored at a symposium held December 15-17
at the NIH.
Spiegelman intends to use this opportunity to refocus her career on the development of new methods
needed to advance the field of implementation science — an area of research that seeks to establish
through rigorous quantitative methods which public health interventions directed at achieving the same
goal are most effective in the real world. The work will be directed towards public health interventions
arising in environmental health, nutrition and chronic disease, and HIV/AIDS. Mathematics, statistics,
computer science and epidemiologic methods will all be brought to bear. Empirical methods for costeffectiveness analysis, design and analysis of stepped wedge studies, methods which combine group-level
and individual-level data to optimize resources, and causal inference methods for impact evaluation when
interventions affect social or environmental networks, but only some subset of the network receive the
intervention, are all topics she will address in the coming years.
Throughout her career, Spiegelman has worked to develop biostatistical solutions to problems that arise
in epidemiology. With over 500 publications to her name, she is the statistician for several long-running
studies based at HSPH: the Nurses’ Health Study II, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, and the
Harvard PEPFAR site in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in addition to a host of studies that have grown out of
these efforts. On her HSPH website, Spiegelman shares free software that helps researchers implement
non-standard methods useful in epidemiologic research.
“Winning this award is a tremendous honor,” said Spiegelman, who holds appointments in the School’s
departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Nutrition, and Global Health and Population. “It demonstrates
a great deal of confidence in the work I’ve accomplished so far and that what I’m proposing to do is really
worth the investment by the NIH in this very competitive and contracting funding environment.”
Biometric Bulletin
26–29 May
XXXV National Conference of the Spanish Statistical
Society and IX Conference of Official Statistics
Pamplona, Spain
9 January
The Special Lecture and the Biometric Workshop
Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
7–10 June
12–16 January
The 5th Nordic-Baltic Biometric Conference
Reykjavik, Iceland
International Conference on Robust Statistics 2015
Indian Statistical Institute
Kolkata, India
14–17 June
26–27 February
Nonparametric analyses of complex time-to-event data
Ulm, Germany
26–27 February
Workshop: Semiparametric Methods in Survival Analysis
Ulm, Germany
5–6 March
Workshop Biometric aspects of genome analysis of
working g zroups Population Genetics (IBS-DR) and
Genome analysis and Genetic Epidemiology (DGEpi) and
Human Genetics (GMDS)
12–13 March
The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Biometric Society of
Inamori Hall in Shirankaikan, Kyoto University,
Kyoto, Japan
15–18 March
2015 ENAR Spring Meeting
Hyatt Regency Miami
Miami, Florida
15–19 March
IBS Channel Network Conference
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
11–15 May
8th Eastern Mediterranean Region Conference
Cappadocia, Turkey
15–19 June
Joint Meeting of the International Biometric Society
Austro-Swiss and Italian Regions
Milan, Italy
23–24 June
Summer Meeting of Working Group Agricultural
Potsdam-Bornim, Germany
1–3 July
Summer School ‘Analysis of event times: Basics and new
Strobl am Wolfgangsee, Austria
6-10 July
30th International Workshop on Statistical Modelling
Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria)
8–10 July
Summer School ‘Semi- and nonparametric methods in
Biometry’ of Working Group Nonparametric Methods
Reisensburg near Ulm, Germany
61st Biometric Colloquium
Dortmund, Germany
20–22 April
2015 WNAR/IMS Annual Meeting
Boise, Idaho, USA
11–12 July
Symposium on Evaluation of Clinical Trials
Renmin University, Beijing, China
20–24 July
Joint 60th Brazilian Regional Meeting and 16th
Brazilian Symposium of Applied Statistics for
Agricultural Experimentation
Presidente Prudente, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Biometric Bulletin
26–31 July
60th ISI World Statistics Congress
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5–8 August
6–9 March
2016 ENAR Spring Meeting
Austin, TX
7th Regional Meeting of RCAC in conjunction with the
25th Colombian Statistics Symposium
Quindio, Columbia
8–13 August
2015 JSM
Washington State Convention and Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
23–27 August
36th Annual Conference of the International Society for
Clinical Biostatistics
Utrecht, The Netherlands
5–9 September
Annual Conference of the German Association for
Medical Informatics
Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in
23–25 September
XVth Spanish Biometric Conference and Vth IberoAmerican Biometric Meeting
Bilbao, Spain
28–30 October
Jamaica Statistics Symposium
30 November–4 December
The International Biometric Society Australasian Region
Hadley Hotel, Horbart, Tasmania, Australia
Biometric Bulletin

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