Announcing June BEMC Talk

Dear Berlin-area Epidemiological Methods Enthusiasts,

We are happy to announce our next BEMC Talk. Hope you can join us!

BEMC Talk: Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 @ 4pm

“Post-marketing studies and drug safety” – Dr. Christof Prugger (Berlin)

  • If you haven’t already done so, please register in advance: https://goo.gl/forms/Np1Q3JDkiaN5thdZ2
  • Description: “Drugs should be effective and safe, also in the long-term widespread use. Therefore, it is important for the efficacy and safety of medications to be demonstrated also after approval in so-called post-marketing studies (PMS). PMS should add to pharmacovigilance by assessing the risks and benefits of authorized drugs under real life conditions. This BEMC talk will focus on the current practice of PMS in Germany and Europe. It will emphasize methodological aspects of drug safety evaluation.”
  • Location: Seminar room of the Neurology Clinic (follow our signs); Bonhoefferweg 3 entrance, 3rd floor, Charité – Campus Mitte, à See: Campus Map

Upcoming Berlin Epi Events:

  • June 8th @ 5pm – BSPH Jahresabschlussfeier (in German, all welcome to attend)https://bsph.charite.de/ueber_die_bsph/veranstaltungen
  • June 20th @ 4pm – BEMC JClub  – Paper will be posted online in early June
  • July 4th @ 4pm – BEMC Talk  –  “Applications of computer adapted testing and item response theory in health outcomes assessment” – Prof. Matthias Rose, Berlin – Register here
  • August 20-24th –IPH Intensive Short Course – “Advanced Epidemiologic Methods – causal research and prediction modeling” (Instructors: Rolf Groenwold/Maarten van Smeden) – Register here

 

Mid-March update: JClub & Modeling nutritional data

Dear Epidemiological Methods Enthusiasts,

We have many exciting events coming up in the next several weeks and a few general announcements to share:

1. BEMC JClub: Weds., March 21st @ 4pm
After the fruitful discussion at last month’s journal club and Prof. Rauch’s Talk on competing risks, we again invite you to join us for our next methods-focused JClub.

  • Paper: Nienke A. de Glas, et al. Performing Survival Analyses in the Presence of Competing Risks: A Clinical Example in Older Breast Cancer Patients, JNCI (2016). https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djv366
  • Location: Seminar room of the Neurology Clinic (follow our signs); Bonhoefferweg 3, Charité – Campus Mitte
  • No need to register! Please contribute questions/remarks about the paper for discussion here: BEMC JClub Contribution Form.

2. BEMC Talk: Weds., April 4th @ 4pm
“Modeling of nutritional data”, Speaker: Dr. Sven Knüppel (DIfE, Potsdam)

  • Be sure to register in advance: https://goo.gl/forms/F1j3sUtxStZgVz3v1
    • Location: Seminar room of the Neurology Clinic (follow our signs); Bonhoefferweg 3, Charité – Campus Mitte
  • Description: “There is increasing interests in using mixed modeling that can provide estimates when complex data structures had been generated. One area of applying mixed models is the assessment of dietary intake that had been requested by several dietary assessment instruments. However, such modeling entails a multitude of challenges. In this BEMC talk, some of these challenges will be discussed and solutions presented. Experiences with the application of current statistical algorithms for estimating usual dietary intake are reported and the dietary assessment strategy of the German National Cohort (http://nako.de) will be shared.”

3. Mark your calendars for these upcoming Berlin epi events!
• April 11th @ 4pm – BEMC JClub – Paper will be posted online early April (note: as an exception, this time on 2nd Weds. of the month!)
• April 12-14th –IPH Intensive Short Course – “Principles and Methods of Epidemiology: Critiquing the Medical Literature” (Instructors: Julie Buring/Pamela Rist, Harvard) – Register here
• April 17th – @ 4pm IPH Lecture, Hörsaalruine, Virchowweg 16 – “The Complexity of Clinical Trials in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Investigator’s Perspective” – Prof. Julie Buring, Boston (Harvard) – Register here
• May 2nd @ 4pm – BEMC Talk – “SEM & latent class analysis in the context of chronic disease” -Prof. Michael Eid, Berlin
• August 20-24th –IPH Intensive Short Course – “Advanced Epidemiologic Methods – causal research and prediction modeling” (Instructors: Rolf Groenwold/Maarten van Smeden) – Register here

See you soon! -JR

BEMC Talk: March 7th, Competing risks

Dear Epidemiological Methods Enthusiasts,

Please join us for our March BEMC Talk:

“Planning and evaluating studies with time-to-event endpoints in a competing risk framework”

Speaker: Prof. Geraldine Rauch (Institute of Biometry and Clinical Epidemiology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

Date: Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 /   Time: 4:00pm

Be sure to register in advance. Space is limited! Registration form: https://goo.gl/forms/67pKW1nkR80rm3eb2

Location: Seminar room of the Neurology Clinic, first floor (Alte Nervenklinik) – follow our signs, Bonhoefferweg 3, Charité Campus Mitte, 10117 Berlin; Campus Map

Description:

Clinical trials and epidemiologic studies commonly consider time-to-event endpoints that are often influenced by competing risks. In the presence of competing risks, standard survival analysis techniques, such as the Kaplan-Meier estimator, can yield seriously biased results. Although methods to account for competing risks are well known in the statistical literature, they are rarely applied in real studies. In this talk, different statistical approaches to account for competing risks are systematically compared, based on a simulation study and using the original data from a cardiology trial.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to interested colleagues. Hope to see you there!

Mark your calendars for upcoming Epi events:

March 21st @ 4pm – BEMC JClub  – Paper will be posted early March
April 4th @ 4pm – BEMC Talk  – “Modeling of nutritional data” – Dr. Sven Knüppel, Potsdam (DIfE) – Register here
April 11th @ 4pm – BEMC JClub  – Paper will be posted early April (note: as an exception, on 2nd Weds. of the month)
April 12-14th –IPH Intensive Short Course – “Principles and Methods of Epidemiology: Critiquing the Medical Literature” (Instructors: Julie Buring/Pamela Rist, Harvard) – Register here
April 17th – @ 4pm IPH Lecture, Hörsaalruine, Virchowweg 16  – “The Complexity of Clinical Trials in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Investigator’s Perspective” – Prof. Julie Buring, Boston (Harvard) – Register here

New Journal Club: starts Weds. Feb 21st

Dear Epidemiological Methods Enthusiasts,

Join us for our first BEMC journal club session next week Wednesday, Feb 21st at 4pm.

This month, we’ll be reading: Chang VW, Langa KM, Weir D, Iwashyna TJ. The obesity paradox and incident cardiovascular disease: A population-based study. PLoS One 2017; 12: e0188636. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0188636

Location: Seminar room of the Neurology Clinic, first floor (Alte Nervenklinik) – follow our signs, Bonhoefferweg 3, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin- Campus Mitte, 10117 Berlin à See: Campus Map

No need to register! To encourage fruitful discussion, we ask everyone to contribute one or more questions/remarks about the paper here: BEMC JClub Contribution Form. These remarks will be compiled and brought to the journal club (hard copy) to help facilitate discussion.

Please feel free to forward this invitation. Hope to see you there!

February BEMC Talk: Rasch Modeling, QA for categorical data

Dear BEMC Community,

We’ve got another great BEMC Talk coming up for you (including a bonus hands-on workshop!)

“How to calibrate a questionnaire: quality-assuring categorical data with psychometric measurement theory” – Prof. Leslie Pendrill (RI:SE Metrology, Gothenburg)

Date: Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 /   Time: 4:00pm

Optional hands-on workshop to follow at 5:15pm, important: bring your laptops with MINISTEPS installed (free!) http://www.winsteps.com/ministep.htm

Space for both events is limited, so please register here in advance: https://goo.gl/forms/ukf6IavdmH04deOs2

We need your help! Please complete these two very short (1 min/each) questionnaires ahead of time so we have some data! Go to www.menti.com

->survey 1 code: 383775 , survey 2 code: 277042

Location: Seminar room of the Neurology Clinic, first floor (Alte Nervenklinik) – follow our signs, Bonhoefferweg 3, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin- Campus Mitte, 10117 Berlin–> see Campus Map

Description:

Measurements in the social sciences – with ‘instruments’ such as questionnaires, ability tests, – in education, healthcare and so on, need metrological quality assurance. A patient, for instance, expects the same quality of care wherever and whenever provided. This is a challenge since the usual tools of statistics do not always work on the categorical scales typical of such measurements. Modelling a measurement system where the instrument is a human being, and where the output is a performance metric, i.e., how well the set-up performs an assessment, appears to be a way forward. This BEMC Colloquium will present the necessary tools, such as psychometric Rasch measurement theory, and will be followed by a hands-on workshop where you yourselves can analyse cases such as (i) the Quality of the BEMC Colloquium Series and (ii) a Healthy Lifestyle.

Please share this invite with colleagues. Hope to see you there!


Coming up: we are trying something new – a BEMC journal club. Every third Wednesday of the month, we’ll read a paper together. Want to know more? Check out our website for the full schedule of JClub and Talk events and more info. 

Follow us on Twitter: @bemcolloquium

Starting a Journal Club

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BEMC is trying something new: a journal club. In February, we will start a monthly Journal Club to accompany the BEMC Talks as an experiment. The format is subject to change, as we will adapt after gaining more experience in what works well and what doesn’t. For now, we are thinking along the following lines:

Why another journal club?

Aren’t we already drowning in journal clubs? Perhaps, but not with this kind of journal club. BEMC JClub is focussed on the methods of clinical research. Many epidemiologically-inclined researchers work at departments that are not focussed on methodology, but rather on a specific disease or field of medicine. This is reflected in the topics of the different journal clubs around town. We believe there is a need for a methods-oriented journal club in Berlin. Our hope for the BEMC JClub is to fill that gap through interdisciplinary and methodological discussions of the papers that we read.

Who will participate?

First of all, please remember that the BEMC community is largly composed of researchers with a medium to advanced epidemiological knowledge and skill set. This is not only true for our BEMC Talks, but also for our JClub.

We hope that we will end up with a good mix of JClub participants that reflects the background and experience of the larger BEMC community. This means that if you think you have unique background and focus in your work, we highly encourage you to join us to help make our group as diverse as possible. We strive for this diversity, as we do not want the JClub sessions to become echo chambers or teaching sessions, but truly discussions that promote knowledge exchange between methodologists from different fields.

What will we read?

Anything that is relevant for those who attend. The BEMC team will ultimately determine which papers we will read, but we are nice people and will listen carefully to the suggestions of regulars. Sometimes we will pick a paper on the same (or a related) topic of the BEMC talk that month.

Even though the BEMC team has the lead in the organisation, the content of the JClub should come from everybody attending. Everybody that attends the Jclub is asked to provide some points, remarks or questions ahead of time to jumpstart the discussion.

What about students? Are all students welcome?

Difficult to say. The BEMC JClub is not designed to teach medical students the basics in epidemiology. Then again, extremely motivated students who can keep up and contribute to the discussion are welcome.

Are you a student and unsure whether the BEMC JClub is for you? Just send us an email.

Where? When?

All these details can be found on the BEMC Jclub website. Just click here.

Invitation: January BEMC Talk

“Prior Beliefs, Posterior Distributions and Frequencies – Basic Concepts of Bayesian and Frequentist Statistics” —Speaker: Dr. Ulrike Grittner (Inaugural lecture/Antrittsvorlesung)

Date: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 /   Time: 4:00pm followed by small reception

*Note, date and location different from usual schedule!

Space is limited, so please register here in advance: https://goo.gl/forms/25HFixnLvJoeMMFI3

Location: Lecture Hall (Hörsaal) of the Neurology Clinic, first floor (Alte Nervenklinik) – follow our signs, Bonhoefferweg 3, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin- Campus Mitte, 10117 Berlin

Campus Map:  https://www.charite.de/service/lageplan/plan/map/ccm_bonhoefferweg_3

Description: Bayesian statistics originates from a posthumously published essay written by the English Reverend Thomas Bayes in 1763. Bayes’ essay proposed a new strategy for making statistical inference by combining the best available knowledge at the current time point with results from new data to create new, “better” evidence. In contrast, most statistical techniques used today originate in the early 20th century and are connected to names such as Ronald A. Fisher, Jerzy Neyman, and Karl Pearson. These “frequentist” approaches do not incorporate prior knowledge (prior beliefs) in the inference statistic, but rather make inferences solely using the data at hand. After several decades of heated discussion and debate in the statistical community, the frequentist concepts were long-time favorites, as they were perceived to be more objective. However, in recent times, technological advances have provided new solutions to the challenging numerical problems of Bayesian models, allowing appropriate weights to be given to prior knowledge and the Bayesian approach a chance to catch up. This lecture will provide insights into relevant concepts and applications of both frequentist and Bayesian statistics.

Please feel free to share this invitation. All are welcome. Hope to see you there!