March 8, 2017

Ting Wang, MS,  doctoral student in Department of Biostatistics at The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, is one of three finalists for the 2017 Thomas C. Chalmers Student Scholarship for the abstract of his paper, “Auxiliary-variable-enriched Biomarker Stratified Design.” The scholarship will be awarded by the Society for Clinical Trials.

Ting Wang

Ting Wang

Wang’s paper looks at clinical trials in which patients are grouped and receive treatment according to common biomarkers such as certain demographic, clinical-pathological, molecular or genetic profiles. Such trials can be expensive and lengthy. To remedy these problems, Wang proposes enriching the sample of biomarker-positive patients through the enrollment of patients who are positive for a cheap and easily obtainable auxiliary variable correlated to the true biomarker. Wang’s approach retains the assessment of all treatment effects while also improving cost-efficiency.

“By using an auxiliary predictive score that considers adenocarcinomas, smoking history, gender and Asian descent, the proposed design can save 83.2 percent of patients for randomization,” Wang said. “The design can also reduce cost by 57.9 percent compared to a standard biomarker stratified design in a hypothetical phase III epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor trial for testing the treatment effect among patients with EGFR mutations and the interaction between treatment and EGFR mutation.”

The paper’s co-authors include Haibo Zhou, PhD, professor of biostatistics, and Jianwen Cai, PhD, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor and interim chair of biostatistics, as well as UNC Gillings School alumnus Xiaofei Wang, PhD, and Stephen L. George, PhD, both whom are faculty members in Duke University School of Medicine’s Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

Wang will present his research at the society’s annual meeting in Liverpool, England, on May 8.

“I feel extremely honored and appreciative for receiving this great award,” Wang said. “This recognition boosts my confidence and inspires me to continue pursuing my academic goal.”

Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or

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