Good news!

  • New employees. Jeffrey Blume and Ben Saville joined the department in August as new faculty members, Jeffrey as associate professor and director of graduate studies, Ben as an assistant professor. Joanne Alvarez and Alex Zhao also have joined the department, as MS biostatisticians.

  • Promotions. Pingsheng Wu has been promoted to staff scientist.

  • Papers. Heidi Chen and Tatsuki Koyama have had a paper published in Statistics in Medicine. Lily Wang has had two papers accepted for publication. Bryan Shepherd has had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

  • Grants. Chun Li is awaiting the official letter of approval for his R01 grant.

  • Awards. Dan Byrne and his group won the C. Everett Koop National Health Award.

Welcome to new employees, and congratulations to those with promotions, papers, grants, and awards!

New spaces, new places

Vanderbilt is planning the construction of a new building near Medical Center North. This building, previously referred to as the Dry Lab but now termed the Life Sciences Building, will be built in two phases, with the first phase costing $160 million.

The new building will be ready for occupants in about four years, after an 18-month design phase and a 24- to 30- month construction phase; the Department of Biostatistics may be housed in one of its top three levels. Because the new building will provide plenty of space, 2012 will see a reunification of the main department and the Division of Cancer Biostatistics under a single roof.

During the construction phase of the Life Sciences Building, the S corridor of Medical Center North will be heavily affected by the less-pleasant aspects of construction work. As a result, the Department of Biostatistics (along with the Departments of Medicine and Radiology) will move to a temporary location, most likely within one block of the edge of campus.

Grant money available

All members of the department should be aware of the CTSA voucher and studio system.

The voucher system provides compensation of up to $2,000 per project, to be transferred into the professional development fund. The studio system includes a manuscript studio, a design studio, an hypothesis-generating studio, and other studios. Studio services are available at $150. For now, studios and vouchers will go to faculty in the department; in the future, this might be expanded to include biostatistician IIIs.

For more information, and to maximize the opportunities available through the CTSA voucher and studio system, please contact Dan Byrne or Frank Harrell.

Spreading the joy of statistics

Vanderbilt is increasing the exposure of medical students to statistical theory and methodology. As a result, Mario Davidson will be teaching 4+ hours in the medical school this year. Many thanks to Mario for bringing the joy of statistics to first-year medical students! Mario welcomes suggestions or ideas from other department members regarding course materials.

Mentoring program survey

The department will be sending out a survey to solicit feedback on mentoring for MS staff biostatisticians. Please be on the lookout for the survey.

Poster contest

The deadline for the biostatistics impact poster contest has been extended to November 1st. We encourage submissions! Please submit posters to Eve Anderson.

To those who already have submitted posters: many thanks! In addition, you are welcome to improve your submission if you wish, and resubmit by the November 1st deadline.


September is Employee Celebration Month at Vanderbilt. We hope everyone is able to enjoy some of the celebration events.

Seminar series

Please note that the time for the Wednesday seminar series has changed. Wednesday seminars will now be held from 1:45 PM to 2:55 PM. The first seminar at the new time will be held September 10th. For a list of seminar dates, speakers, and topics, please see

Faculty research award

The departmentís faculty research award is in its final stage of preparation. A formal announcement will be made soon.

New smoking policy

Please be aware of Vanderbiltís new smoking policy. Effective September 1st, smoking is no longer permitted anywhere on the Vanderbilt Medical Center campus.
Topic revision: r1 - 19 Sep 2008, LynneBerry

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