Methodology for Precision Medicine: Integrating Statistical and Mathematical Approaches: April 11-12, 2016

Registration for this workshop is currently closed.


Hamner Conference Center, RTP, NC


It is widely recognized that the best possible clinical care requires “personalizing” treatment to individual patient characteristics. These characteristics might include clinical, physiological, genetic/genomic measurements as well as environmental or lifestyle factors. Precision medicine seeks to develop evidence-based, i.e., data-driven, approaches to personalized treatment and has become a central focus of the nation’s health care health sciences research agenda, including the recently announced Precision Medicine Initiative. At the heart of precision medicine are quantitative methods for translating heterogeneous data sources into treatment recommendations. One approach is to construct multi-scale mechanistic biological models to describe treatment response and then infer an optimal treatment decision from this model. These models, favored in applied mathematics, are rich and descriptive but can be difficult to tune. An alternative approach is to use data from an observational or randomized study to build a statistical model for patient outcomes given treatment. These models, favored by statisticians, strive to be purely empirical and to generate new scientific knowledge but are coarse approximations to a complex truth and do not easily allow incorporation of theory-based biological models.

The 1.5 day program will feature presentations by leading mathematical and statistical scientists and clinicians at the forefront of precision medicine and breakout sessions involving small groups of participants from diverse scientific backgrounds to identify opportunities for methodological integration and synergy and to brainstorm on initial formulation of joint research projects. Number of participants is limited to 50 (including speakers). Junior researchers interested in precision medicine are especially encouraged to apply for this workshop.

Questions: email

Schedule and Supporting Media

Speaker Titles / Abstracts



Monday, April 11, 2016
Hamner Conference Center

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:00–8:30 Registration
8:30–8:45 Introduction and Welcome; Overview of Workshop and Goals Sujit Ghosh, SAMSI
Marie Davidian, NCSU
8:45–9:45 Participant Introductions
9:45–10:45 Combining Deterministic and Statistical Models in Precision Medicine Michael Reed, Duke University
10:45–11:15 Break
11:15–12:15 An Overview of Optimal Dynamic Treatment Regimes Butch Tsiatis, North Carolina State University
12:15–1:15 Lunch
1:15–2:45 Breakout Session 1: (Rooms: 150, 203, 219, 259)
Brainstorming among groups of participants on possible projects – Reports from group leaders
Moderator: Eric Laber, NCSU
2:45–3:00 Break
3:00–4:00 The MURDOCK Study and Baseline Project: Thinking Big (Data) in the Era of Precision Medicine L. Kristin Newby, Duke Clinical Research Institute
4:00–5:30 Breakout Session 2: (Rooms: 150, 203, 219, 259)
Reshuffle groups; brainstorming among new groups of participants on  possible projects – Reports from group leaders
Moderator: Michael Pencina, Duke University
5:30–5:45 Wrap-up
5:45–6:45 Poster Session and Reception
(The board dimensions are 4 ft. wide by 3 ft. high. They are tri-fold with each side being 1 ft. wide and the center 2 ft. wide. Please make sure your poster fits the board. The boards can accommodate up to 16 pages of paper measuring 8.5 inches by 11 inches.)
7:00p+ Shuttle to the hotel and dinner on your own

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
at SAMSI, Room 150

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:00–8:15 Announcements and Updates Marie Davidian, NCSU
8:15– 9:15 Using SMART Design to Improve Symptom Management among Cancer Patients Alla Sikorskii, Michigan State University
9:15–10:15 Discussion Kristin Swanson, Mayo Clinic
10:15–10:30 Break
10:30–11:30 Breakout Session 3: (Rooms: 150, 203, 219, 259)
Groups formulate and finalize integrated project proposals and report
Moderator: Kevin Flores, NCSU
11:30–12:30 Working Lunch: Group discussion of possibilities for year-long program
12:30–1:00 Wrap-up and Next Steps
1:30 Shuttle to RDU Airport