Happy Holidays! A look back at the Fall 2013 semester in all its glory.
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Fall 2013 Department Newsletter
Recent Graduate Yuxuan Jin explains her poster to students at the Fall 2013 Poster Session. For more photos, visit our Facebook page!
Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff:

The department has seen a statistically significant year.  In May, we graduated 17 students and welcomed 26 new students in August. Our external grants and contracts funding has gone up more than 30%.  Most significantly of all and for all, we just received fantastic news that Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s NCI Cancer center Support Grant was rated Excellent with many components rated outstanding and exceptional by the NCI site visit review panel of national experts.  Our department has contributed to multiple aspects of Lombardi and many of us have worked tirelessly in preparing the renewal application in the past year and half.  I am sure this timely news will making this holiday season super jolly for all of us.

Happy Holidays,
Ming T. Tan, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Biostatistics

Welcome New Faculty and Staff!

Assistant Professor Jaeil Ahn received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan in 2011 with a dissertation titled "Bayesian Modeling of Epidemiologic Data under Complex Sampling Schemes.'' His publications and research interests include tumor heterogeneity problems based on next gen sequencing data, studies of gene-environment interaction, case control studies and sampling designs, hierarchical Bayesian and longitudinal dyadic data models. Read more...
Biostatistician Ling Cai received her Ph.D. in chemical physics (computational chemistry) and her MA in Mathematical Statistics from University of Maryland College Park. In the past three years, Ling worked at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center as a biostatistician supporting clinical trials in breast cancer, hematological malignancies, and immunotherapies as well as biomarker development studies. She will take part in the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resources activities working with Lombardi clinical and translational researchers as well as support department faculty in collaboration and graduate education activities.
Visiting Professor Ao Yuan got his BS in Mathematics and MS in Statistics from Sichuan University, China; and Ph.D. in Statistics from The University of British Columbia, Canada. He worked in the National Human Genome Center of Howard University as a research biostatistician, and currently a visiting faculty at the Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Biomathematics, Georgetown University. His research interests include Biostatistics/Clinical trials, Statistical Genetics, Non-and-parametric Inference, Bayesian Inference.
Postdoctoral Student Xuerong Chen
In the past year, she was a postdoc of department of statistics for University of Missouri. She earned a Ph.D. in statistics from the  Academy of Mathematics and System Science, Chinese Academy of Science and Yunnan University. Her research interests include: survival analysis, quantile regression, and drug combination.

Spring 2014 Seminars

January 10
Peter Zhang, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization, Inc.

January 24
Joseph Ibrahim, Univeristy of North Carolina

February 14
Ulrike Genschel, Iowa State University

February 28
Joshua Sampson, NCI

March 28
Tudor Oprea, University of New Mexico

April 11
Yun Zhou, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute

April 25
Nandita Mitra, University of Pennsylvania
Please consider donating to the Edmund Gehan Scholarship Fund. For more information about the fund, click here. To donate, click here.
Student Spotlight: Tom McAndrew
Tom McAndrew ('10) is a Ph.D. student in App[lied Mathematics at the University of Vermont. As part of his degree program, Tom is a reasearch fellow funded by the NSF, in the IGERT SMART Grid program.

You can view his growing portfolio of publications here.

Tom hopes to help any current students in the Masters or Certificate programs:
"If anyone currently in the program would like to talk to me about Clinical Trials, Statistics, Data Monitoring Committees, NYC, the process of a Ph.D. in Math, please send me an email. I'm omre than happy to offer help and support in the field."

You can reach tom at

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Loffredo

Dr. Loffredo and colleagues from Georgetown have been visiting Russia for the past few years, but aside from tales that have emerged about their culinary adventures (think borsht, dumplings, and vodka!) not everyone knows about the scientific work they are doing.
Established in 1948 as the former Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons production complex, the Mayak Production Association (Mayak) in Ozyorsk, Russia, located in the Southern Urals about 950 miles (1,500 km) southeast of Moscow, exposed thousands of workers to ionizing radiation over a period of >50 years of operations. In contrast to the single, high-dose external exposure of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors, the Mayak workers have been exposed to lower levels of external radiation and internally deposited radioactive compounds over a period of decades.  This pattern of chronic, lower dose exposure is comparable to other occupational settings in the nuclear industry and in other uses of radiation.  In addition, the Mayak workers cohort has been monitored since the beginning, and health information has been collected over time.  Therefore, the Mayak cohort has the potential to generate key data for future reassessments of radiation protection standards and regulations in the United States and worldwide. 
Given these opportunities to advance knowledge about the health effects of ionizing radiation, the United States and the Russian Federation signed the “Agreement on Cooperation in Research on Radiation Effects for the Purpose of Minimizing the Consequences of Radioactive Contamination on Health and the Environment” (how’s that for a mouthful?). The work is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy: Dr. Loffredo and his team (David Goerlitz and Leoni Leondaridis), when they are not getting into trouble trying to speak Russian, were awarded a grant in 2008, and which will be renewed for 5 more years. They collaborate with their Russian colleagues to ensure the highest quality of the collection and long term storage of tissues and other biospecimens in the biorepository in Ozyorsk. Just to mention some of the items stored there, surgical and autopsy tissues, blood samples, and other specimens are obtained from participants, and are annotated with demographic, occupational, and medical information. Protocols for specimen collection, processing, storage, and quality control are continually updated and brought into compliance with international best practices guidelines under the team’s leadership. Dr. Makambi has collaborated with them on developing proposals to investigate biomarkers for early cancer detection in this cohort.
Since the journey to Ozyorsk requires several days of travel each way, with limited air links between the nearest cities, they usually have to stay overnight in Moscow both going and coming. Some of the photographs shown here are from their sightseeing adventures in Moscow, and in Saint Petersburg which was the site of the annual U.S.-Russian conference on radiation health effects in September.
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