Welcome to the BiosBeat communication tool for the Department of Biostatistics at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health! Here you will find a collection of the latest department news, special features, dates to save, and much more. So, read on, enjoy, and be sure to regularly check back for updates!

In this edition:

Nature computational biology story features Michael Love and Anqi Zhu
ATN project observed World Aids Day at UNC
BIOS Masters Alumni Panel
Dr. Frank Harrell presentation on The Future of Clinical Trials Reporting
Stephenson and Jaeger win ENAR Distinguished Paper awards
Important Dates

Great turnout for Biostatistics Student Association November Board Game Night


Nature computational biology story features Michael Love and Anqi Zhu

Getting started with @Bioconductor packages and workflows, featuring Mike Love and Anqi Zhu

Published online on December 5
A test drive of a DNA-analysis toolkit in the cloud
The Bioconductor project gathers genomics tools and data into a handy package that can run in the cloud.


UNC World Aids Day Symposium –  ATN PI Dr. Michael Hudgens opened event

Dr. Hudgens opened the World Aids Day Symposium at UNC-CH

On December 1, 2017, people around the world united in the fight against HIV with World AIDS Day observances. UNC marked World AIDS Day with a symposium on adolescents and HIV.

There are now highly effective treatments for people living with HIV, but 37 million people live with HIV worldwide, and 2 million people contract HIV each year, Dr. Michael Hudgens, Department of Biostatistics professor, said at the event. To introduce the reasoning for the focus on adolescents, Dr. Hudgens said, “In the US, greater than one quarter of new infections are in youth, and up to 80% of youth that are infected are unaware of their status.”

The symposium highlighted the work being done by UNC faculty members related to adolescent HIV and AIDS, including a focus on extensive research by the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) in the Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center, under the Department of Biostatistics.
“[The ATN’s] overarching goal is to increase awareness of status, and for those diagnosed, increased access to health care,” Dr. Patrick Sullivan, professor of Epidemiology at Emory University and ATN Executive Committee Chair, said. “If you bring the great idea, we can bring the ability to implement it and to collect high-quality scientific data.”

The event underscored how ATN research helps defeat the HIV epidemic among adolescents through the UNC/Emory Center for Innovative Technology (iTech), which is part of the ATN. iTech’s research uses technological innovation to improve HIV prevention and care for youth 15-24 years old.
“Without these biomedical interventions in their hands and then using them, we will not address the epidemic,” Dr. Lisa-Hightow Wiedman, UNC School of Medicine professor and principal investigator for iTech, said. Technology-based interventions can reach youth where they are, with anonymity, while creating a safe space to engage them while providing social support, she said.

The symposium was presented by the UNC Center for AIDS Research and the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Disease. To view recordings of the presentations, visit .


2017 UNC BIOS Master’s Alumni Panel

UNC BIOS Masters Alumni Panel moderated by Dr. Schwartz

This panel of Master’s degree alumni discussed various career options and answered questions.  Thanks to all who participated especially the panelists:

Cindy McShea ’01 MPH UCB, Inc
Virginia Pate ’07 MS UNC Department of Epidemiology
Jeran Stratford ’16 MS Q2 Solutions
Junheng Gao ’17 MS Duke Cancer Institute


CSCC hosted distinguished graduate Dr. Frank Harrell

Dr. Loop of the CSCC posed with Dr. Frank Harrell

The Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center (CSCC) hosted a graduate of our Department and a former GRA at the CSCC, Frank Harrell, PhD.  The founding Chair of the Vanderbilt University Department of Biostatistics  returned to Chapel Hill recently to present a talk on the future of clinical trials reporting.  Watch it here.


Congratulations Briana Stephenson and Byron Jaeger recipients of ENAR Distinguished Paper Awards

Each year ENAR selects up to 20 students for a special honor. The selection criteria emphasizes the strength of the manuscript in four areas: Relevance to a motivating scientific problem; Methodologic development or investigation germane to the motivating problem; Scientifically meaningful illustration of the proposed method; and clarity and style of presentation. Two graduates of UNC Bios have won the 2018 honor which includes reimbursement of travel expenses to the March 2018 meeting and opportunity to attend the President’s Reception.  Briana Stephenson’s paper is Robust Clustering with Subpopulation-specific Deviations and Byron Jaeger’s is An R2 Statistic for Covariance Model Selection in the Linear Mixed Model.


Important Student Date Reminders

Students, staff and faculty mark the holiday season together at the annual holiday luncheon Thursday, December 7. Please see email from Betsy Seagroves for details.

For more Gillings School events, view the school’s event calendar.

Tuition and Billing
Tuesday, December 12, 2017- Tuition and fees due for all students who have registered before the Billing Date (November 17, 2017). (Students who register by the Billing Date must pay or defer tuition and fees by this date or their schedule will be cancelled and all their courses dropped.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 – Last Day for Students to Add Themselves to a Waitlist
Start of the Spring 2018 semester:
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 – Classes begin for all students. Late registration begins. Note: $20 Fee charged for late registration.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – Last day for all students to add a course or late register using the web registration system.
Thursday, January 18, 2018 – Students on waitlists will be moved into any available seats in Fall classes for the last time. Waitlists are then purged.
Monday, January 15, 2018 -HOLIDAY-NO CLASSES