MRC Biostatistics Unit’s PhD Student David Robertson has won one of only three annual student awards from the International Society of Clinical Biostatistics (ISCB).
The ISCB Student Conference Awards are available for registered postgraduate students to attend and present a paper at the 35th ISCB Meeting in Vienna, Austria, during 24 – 28 August 2014.
Selection was made based on an abstract and a summary of a paper to be presented, which should illustrate application of statistical methodology to clinical or epidemiological research. The analysis has methodological implications or shows a novel and interesting application of biostatistics.
The award covers conference registration, travel expenses and hotel accommodation. Award winners are also invited to the conference dinner.
David Robertson’s paper is titled “Correcting for bias in the detection and validation of informative diagnostic tests”.
Summary: When developing a new diagnostic test for a disease, there are often multiple candidates to choose from, and it is unclear if any will offer an improvement in performance compared to current technology. A two-stage trial design can be used to select a promising test (if one exists) in stage one for definitive validation in stage two. However, the first stage selection rules can lead to biased estimates of the true properties of the chosen diagnostic test.
We derived the most efficient unbiased estimator for a diagnostic tool’s sensitivity in a two-stage design with arbitrary stage one selection rules. We then applied our estimation strategy to data from a recent family history screening tool study, and were able to identify and successfully adjust for bias in the tool’s estimated sensitivity to detect those at high risk of breast cancer.
About the ISCB
The International Society for Clinical Biostatistics (ISCB) was founded in 1978 to stimulate research into the principles and methodology used in the design and analysis of clinical research and to increase the relevance of statistical theory to the real world of clinical medicine.
“It is the first time that an ISCB conference will take place in Vienna, Austria. Like previous annual conferences of ISCB the 2014 conference will provide a scientific forum for international exchange of theory, methods and applications of biostatistics in medical research and practice among clinicians, statisticians and members of other disciplines, such as epidemiologists, clinical chemists and clinical pharmacologists, working or interested in the field of clinical biostatistics.” (ISCB website)
Details on the scientific topics of the conference, the invited sessions, the conference courses, and on the mini-symposia on Thursday morning are available on the ISCB 2014 Meeting website www.iscb2014.info