PHASTAR Graduate Programme – Lisa's story

PHASTAR Graduate Programme: Lisa's story

Starting a career in industry can be a daunting experience at any time of life, but especially when it is your first full time job. Going from being a full-time student and enjoying the student life is very different to experiencing the 9-5 day job. From my time so far, I believe that the first few years in industry can shape the direction that a statistician takes. While at university I was mainly surrounded by peers of the same age and level of experience - now that I’m in industry, I have found I have been able to draw on the different levels of experience and areas of knowledge there is in PHASTAR. Here I will discuss the decisions I made while at university which lead me into statistics and subsequently working at PHASTAR, along with some of my experiences from my first year.

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PHASTAR Graduate Programme – one year in!

Graduate statistician at PHASTAR

I am now one year into my graduate role at PHASTAR, and it has been one of the quickest years of my life. I joined PHASTAR after graduating from the University of Strathclyde with a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Statistics. I sought a job where I would be challenged, and I was not going to lose all the knowledge and skills I gained from University. And I was not disappointed. 

When I applied to work at PHASTAR, the entire process, from initial application to accepting the job offer, was very straightforward. A group of us took part in an assessment centre which involved several different tasks and a final interview. The day was, overall, very laid back – which was very different to assessment centres I had attended previously. I could tell from this day alone that the company was a very social company – with managers and employees happily chatting to all of us and making the experience as relaxing as possible. The final interview was obviously very daunting for me, as most graduates would agree when interviewing for a graduate job. However, the interview, like the rest of the assessment centre, was uncomplicated and not intimidating whatsoever. I heard back shortly after, and happily accepted the job offer.

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PHASTAR's life science day at Alderley Park

PHASTAR to host life science day at Alderley Park

Fresh from the success of their Boston-Cambridge Life Science evening, the PHASTAR team is at it again! This time PHASTAR will be hosting a Life Science Day near it's Alderley Park offices in Cheshire, UK.

The day will explore the theme of 'how statistical analysis and data science can enhance drug and diagnostic device development' and will feature talks given by PHASTAR staff and external experts.

Featuring talks from:

'What is Health Data Science? One biostatistician’s answer' by Professor Peter Diggle, Distinguished University Professor at CHICAS, Lancaster University Medical School.

'What sample size? 101 other ways statisticians influence trial design' by Andrew Lloyd, Head of Statistics - PHASTAR.

'Extracting value from real-world data: an example with wearables' by Professor Jennifer Bradford, Head of Data Science - PHASTAR.

'You've developed your AI tool - now how do we test it?' by Professor Jennifer Rogers, Head of Statistical Research - PHASTAR.

'Ensuring sponsor oversight, and quality of data and interpretation for early phase trials' by Dr Susan Lovick, Statistical Technical Lead - PHASTAR.

The event will take place on Tuesday 26th November, 9:30am-4pm at the Alderley Park Conference Centre. Registration will start at 9:30am and the sessions will run from 10am-4pm, followed by a networking reception at 4pm-6pm.

If you are interested in attending sign up is free and can be found here

Data Management of adaptive trial designs

Adaptive Trial Design

Traditionally, studies have been run with a process of study design, study conduct, study report. Whilst this is more straight-forward it is not flexible and does not allow for modifications or changes that may be desirable during the course of a trial. An adaptive design allows for the flexibility of interim reviews of the data, followed by pre-specified changes to the trial based on the review whilst maintaining the integrity of the trial, interim reviews may also result in outcomes such as a sample size re-estimation  These prior planned adaptations are different to ad hoc protocol amendments, as the adaptations are already allowed for in the protocol.

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Data Science: making sense of data

Data Science: making sense of data

The volume of digital data in healthcare is projected to increase more rapidly in the coming years than any other sector. On a day-to-day basis it is vital that clinical teams ensure they are maximising the value, not only of their own trial data but also of the wealth of external data for example electronic healthcare records, real-world data and peer-reviewed research published in journals.

The ability to utilise this data requires not only an understanding of what is available but how to access the data, work with the structure of the data, understand the quality and inherent biases and importantly apply the right methodology to extract value. In addition to the large volume of standard data generated on a clinical trial there can be a raft of other, more specialised data, such as genomics, proteomics, wearables and comprehensive measurements all of which rely on the skills of an experienced data management, programming and statistics team to utilise.

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