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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UNC Student Wins Award for Statistics Conference

Mr. Jingxiang (Sean) Chen, doctoral student in biostatistics at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received a travel award from the American Statistical Association (ASA) biopharmaceutical statistics section to support the presentation of his research at the 2016 ASA Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Chicago, to be held July 30–Aug. 4.


[Photo: Mr. Jingxiang (Sean) Chen]

His paper, “Estimating Individualized Treatment Rules for Ordinal Treatments,” examines precision medicine, a term applied to health practitioners’ determining the best treatment rule for a patient based on his or her individual characteristics.

Mr. Chen argues that although these individualized treatment rules have been applied primarily to binary treatment scenarios, there also may be room to apply a statistical learning model to ordinal treatment scenarios, such as trials involving several dose levels of a certain drug.

“This method helps detect the optimal treatment or dosage based on specific patient information,” said Mr. Chen. “It’s a very applicable topic that can be extended and used in medical practice.”

Dr. Michael Kosorok, W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor and chair of biostatistics, is Mr. Chen’s co-adviser.

“I am pleased with the recognition Jingxiang has received,” Dr. Kosorok said. “He is doing very interesting and important work on the interface between precision medicine and machine learning.”

Awards that allow students to attend conferences such as JSM are invaluable to the future progress of both the research they present and the students’ careers.


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