The Nineteenth Annual Biopharmaceutical Applied Statistics Symposium (BASS XIX) took place November 5-9, 2012 at the Mulberry Inn Suites in Savannah, GA. The program consisted of 18 tutorials, a key-note address and 3 two-day short courses by leading experts from academia, government and industry. The theme of BASS XIX was Safety Assessment of Pharmaceutical Products. The Biopharmaceutical Applied Statistics Symposium (BASS) provides (1) a forum for pharmaceutical and medical researchers and regulators to share timely information concerning the application of biostatistics in pharmaceutical environments; and (2) funding to support graduate studies in Biostatistics.
BASS was founded in 1994, by Dr. Karl E. Peace, Fellow of the American Statistical Association and The Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar/Scientist, and Professor of Biostatistics in the Jiann-Ping College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) at Georgia Southern University. BASS is regarded as one of the premier conferences in the world. Since 1994, more than 300 tutorials and 50 1-day or 2-day short courses have been presented at BASS, by the world’s leading authorities on applications of biostatistical methods attendant to the research, clinical development and regulation of biopharmaceutical products. Presenters and attendees represent the biopharmaceutical industry, academia and government, particularly the NIH and FDA. A student attendee’s comment that “BASS is a wonderful opportunity to meet with world famous biostatisticians and expand your horizon” is one among the many remarks demonstrating that knowledge shared at BASS is not limited to professionals.
Funding for biostatistics students to attend three different BASS courses: (1) Monte Carlo Clinical Trial Simulations for Pharmaceutical Industry: Concepts, Algorithms, Implementation and Case Studies by Mark Chang, Sandeep Menon, Gheorghe Doros, (2) Data Safety Monitoring Boards: Planning and Execution by Janet Wittes, Ruth McBride, April Slee, and Matt Downs and (3) Advanced Safety Data Analysis and Handling Nonrandom Missing Data using SAS by Russ Wolfinger, Richard Zinc and Craig Malindtkrodt was provided by Dr. Peace and JPHCOPH. While students lauded “plenty of opportunities to meet very high profile people from pharmaceutical companies,” they especially emphasized skills gained from working with data and new JMP software. The courses were described as “new and unique information about some clinical trials topics like design and development”, as well as “helpful for us to learn how to prevent and treat missing data in the true world”. In referencing fellow students, a BASS attendee stated that students “must attend these kinds of conferences to achieve a highly successful career as public health professional.” Without the nearly $12,000 in funding from Dr. Peace and JPHCOPH, these students would not have been able to attend these courses taught by the world’s leading authorities of the presented topics. A total of 13 MPH or DrPH in Biostatistics from JPHCOPH, 2 students pursuing the MS from Mathematical Sciences at GSU and 3 students pursuing the PhD in biostatistics from VCU School of Medicine attended.
Dr. Greg Evans, Dean of JPHCOPH, commented: “being able to attend BASS courses is a unique advantage to students pursuing biostatistics degrees at JPHCOPH; one that is not easily available to biostatistics students from other Schools or Colleges of Public Health.”
Pictured from left to right: Kenny, Dr. Karl E. Peace, Chunfeng and Ghalib