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June 29, 2006

Biostatistics Student Receives Young Investigator Award

Holly Janes, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics, received a Young Investigator Award from the American Statistical Association’s Statistics in Epidemiology Section. She will use the prize money to attend the 2006 Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle, Wash., August 6-10.

The award is based on a paper, “The Optimal Ratio of Cases to Controls for Estimating the Classification Accuracy of a Biomarker,” written by Janes and Margaret Pepe, her doctoral advisor at the University of Washington. Their research provides methods for designing maximally efficient studies to estimate the accuracy of biomarkers—tools that can be used to screen individuals for disease, diagnose sick patients or predict some sort of future event, such as a treatment response.

Janes and Pepe also developed a new measure of biomarker accuracy—the covariate-adjusted ROC curve. The measure can be used to adjust for factors—such as patient characteristics or aspects of the biomarker collection or storage procedure—that can impact test accuracy. Janes’ future research will involve developing methods for estimating the incremental value of a biomarker, or the level of accuracy gained with the biomarker beyond that associated with known classifiers. Janes is also working with Francesca Dominici PhD and Scott Zeger PhD in the Department of Biostatistics on the statistical analysis of the health effects of air pollution.

The American Statistical Association is a scientific and educational society founded in 1839 with the mission of promoting excellence in the application of statistical science across the wealth of human endeavor.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.