Vanderbilt Biostatistics Bulletin - May 2022 issue

The May 2022 issue of our department newsletter is now available. We have upcoming events, incoming faculty, and recent honors to celebrate! 


Front page of the May 2022 Biostatistics Bulletin. Click "available" to view or download the full issue.

May 16 Symposium on Implementation Research in the Learning Health System

Here are new and updated details about the upcoming Vanderbilt Symposium on Implementation Research in the Learning Health System


The planning committee includes professor Chris Lindsell and research assistant professor Cheryl L. Gatto.

Symposium registration:

Abstract submission for poster reception:

Project proposal submission for workshop: 


Cash prizes will be awarded to the best poster submissions (due April 29).

In celebration of Women's History Month

Gallery of Vanderbilt Biostatistics women

Visit the Our People section of this site to learn more about our department members.

TOP ROW: senior associate Yuwei Zhu, PhD student Siwei Zhang, associate quality assurance analyst Vinni Yenukonda, associate professor Fei Ye, PhD student Elisa Yazdani, MS student Lydia Yao, postdoc Jing Yang, PhD student Yan Yan, PhD student Bailu (Lucy) Yan, principal biostatistician Meng Xu

ROW 2: PhD student Jiangmei Xiong, research professor Pingsheng Wu, application developer Hui Wu, PhD student Julia Whitman, PhD student Valerie Welty, adjunct professor Liping Wei, PhD student Hannah Weeks, lead biostatistician Li Wang, research assistant professor Jing Wang, chief business officer Janey Wang

ROW 3: biostatistician Guanchao Wang, PhD student Shengxin Tu, PhD student Yuqi Tian, PhD student Julia Thome, MS student Megan Taylor, health services research analyst Afan Swan, PhD student Tianyi Sun, biostatistician Lili Sun, associate program manager Cierra Streeter

ROW 4: biostatistician Tess Stopczynski, biostatistician Ine Sohn, PhD student Elizabeth Sigworth, adjunct instructor Ayumi Shintani, lead biostatistician Yaping Shi, PhD student Lan Shi, research assistant professor Laurie Samuels, biostatistician Paridhi Ranadive, associate professor Rameela Ran, statistical genetic analyst III Marisol Ramirez-Solano, senior biostatistician Heather Prigmore

ROW 5: associate Sharon Phillips, principal biostatistician Amy Perkins, application developer Savannah Obregon, associate Huin Nian, PhD student Jacquelyn Neal, PhD student Megan Hollister Murray, educational programs manager Chazlie Miller, senior biostatistician Elizabeth McNeer, PhD student Cara Lwin, associate professor Qi Liu

ROW 6: associate professor Dandan Liu, adjoint assistant professor Pei Ying (Emily) Lin, biostatistician Yaping Li, postdoc Jia Li, MS student Yeji Ko, senior biostatistician Ahra Kim, PhD student Jamie Joseph, assistant to the chair Jenny Jones, biostatistician Xiangyu Ji, lead biostatistician Cathy Jenkins

ROW 7: biostatistician Rebecca Irlmeier, research assistant professor Li-Ching Huang, senior financial analyst Sandra Hewston, biostatistician Cassie Hennessy, principal biostatistician Kim Hart, biostatistician Alese Halvorson, assistant professor Amber Hackstadt, budget/accounting analyst Nicole Gunnison, senior associate Tebeb Gebretsadik, VICTR associate director Cheryl L. Gatto, biostatistician Yue Gao

ROW 8: research professor Irene Feurer, biostatistician Xiaoke (Sarah) Feng, principal biostatistician Run Fan, research assistant professor Svetlana Eden, communications manager Peg Duthie, assistant Liping Du, PhD student Chiara Di Gravio, professor Mary Dietrich, grants manager Pattie Council, MS student Kirsten Cottingham, vice chair of diversity and inclusion Leena Choi

ROW 9: research assistant professor Sheau-Chiann Chen, director of post-graduate studies and distance learning Qingxia (Cindy) Chen, research assistant professor Heidi Chen, administrative manager Audrey Carvajal, PhD student Marisa Blackman, biostatistician Caroline Birdrow, principal biostatistician Aihua Bian, vice chair of informatics and collaborative programs Lynne Berry, adjunct instructor Mary Banach, associate program manager Jena Altstatt

May 16 Implementation Research Symposium

Note: this blog post has been superseded by the April 19 update about symposium opportunities.


Vanderbilt Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research and the Vanderbilt CTSA/VICTR Learning Healthcare System are co-sponsoring an in-person symposium on May 16. More details are forthcoming. The planning committee includes professor Chris Lindsell and research assistant professor Cheryl L. Gatto, and there will be a poster session (submissions welcome through April 25; see the symposium webpage for guidelines).


Save the date: Vanderbilt Symposium on Implementation Research in the Learning Health System

Health & Wellness

Spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. To quote the poet Tennyson, "In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove." (The state flower of Tennessee is the iris.)

Spring is also a great time to set new self-care goals. The Department of Biostatistics has a long-standing relationship with Vanderbilt's Health & Wellness initiative. Senior associate Dan Byrne helped create the award-winning Go for the Gold program in 2003, and with biostatistician Ryan Moore provides support for "The Healthy Pulse," a feature that appears on the back page of each issue of Connection, which is mailed to all Vanderbilt employees. 

Healthy Pulse graphic from the February issue, created by Daniel Byrne and Ryan Moore. Republished here with permission from Health & Wellness.

Spotlight on Samuel Nwosu and Jubilee Tan

Lead biostatistician Samuel Nwosu was featured in the March 17 issue of the ACTIV-6 Site Newsletter, and application developer Jubilee Tan in the March 4 edition. The interviews are republished here with permission of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Data Coordinating Center Spotlights

Samuel Nwosu

What is your role on ACTIV-6? 

Provide assistance with data management, create trial summary reports, perform data validations, and help with implementing the trial's interim analyses.


What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of work? 

I enjoy spending time with my family, a good jog, and the occasional adventurous/extreme activity.


Why do you think ACTIV-6 is important? 

This trial is at the forefront to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and provide a pathway to ending this global pandemic.


What drives and motivates you about working on the ACTIV-6 study? 

Knowing that the work I do is part of a bigger community to assist in the fight against COVID-19. Hopefully my effort within the ACTIV-6 study will help everyone get back to some sense of normalcy


Jubilee Tan

What is your role on ACTIV-6?

I maintain and upgrade automated information systems among four roles: participants, pharmacy, the call center, and biometric analysts.


What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

When I get off work, I usually spend time with family, watch movies, and fix some issues in open source community.


Why do you think ACTIV-6 is important?

Since COVID changed our lives two years ago, many families may have faced a very big change, not only the loss of life, but also social distancing and economic shock. This project is an opportunity to turn things around so that people can go back to life before the pandemic.


What drives and motivates you about working on the ACTIV-6 study?

This project is about helping people fight COVID, and I feel very motivated every time I think about this work that could lead to an earlier end to the pandemic.

The ACTIV-6 study is reaching out to prospective participants in Spanish as well as English.

Vanderbilt Biostatistics Bulletin - February 2022 issue

The February 2022 issue of our department newsletter is now available. We are excited about our recent accomplishments and upcoming events. 


Note: the application deadline for the Vanderbilt Biostatistics Summer Internship for Underrepresented Undergraduates has been extended to March 14, and the due date for useR! abstracts is now March 15. 

Front page of the February 2022 issue. Click "available" to view or download the full issue.

Spotlight on Chris Lindsell

Professor Chris Lindsell, who leads the ACTIV-6 Data Coordinating Center, was featured in the February 11 issue of the ACTIV-6 Site Newsletter, which is published twice a month by Duke Clinical Research Institute. The interview is republished here with permission.

What is your role on ACTIV-6? I am privileged to lead the Data Coordinating Center. Our team has developed an innovative way of running studies by using the research record like the medical record. The data we collect includes a mix of the information we need to find out what medicines help patients feel better faster, and all of the data needed for real time study information sharing and communications. The partnership with DCRI has allowed us to create a fully integrated system that will continue to get better as we learn from this new way of doing studies. 


What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of work? I used to play rugby, but then I blew out my knees. Then I used to sail, but there isn’t much water in Nashville. I took up gardening but my brown thumb left me with little hope. For a while, I was a craft beer brewer and home vintner, which also had bad side effects. Pandemic isolation gave me a whole new lease on life and I got to teach myself the guitar while smoking bacon, chicken, salmon, turkey, brisket, cheese, bread, and even vegetables. This year I plan to master the art of pastry (or patience, or both).


Why do you think ACTIV-6 is important? If there is a safe medicine already available that could help people feel better faster from Covid-19, I want to know that, I think that’s important.


What drives and motivates you about working on the ACTIV-6 study? The challenge of finding a way to do research in totally different ways and solving the problem of what medicines help people feel better faster drives me. The passion, dedication, and excellence of the teams that are leading this research motivate me. 

Christopher Lindsell on ACTIV-6

Spotlight on Savannah Obregon

Application developer Savannah Obregon was featured in the January 28 issue of the ACTIV-6 Site Newsletter, which is published twice a month by Duke Clinical Research Institute. Her contributions to the study range from front-end presentations to back-end programming, including displays of study data on the Support Site landing page, the site's FAQ, the creation of a back-up server for emergency randomization, and auto-generating alerts. As stated in the issue, "her work is invaluable to site enrollment and the smooth operation of the study as a whole."

Clipping from newsletter about Savannah Obregon


To date, the ACTIV-6 research study has enrolled more than three thousand participants. To learn more about the quest to help people with COVID-19 feel better faster, visit


(Spotlight republished here with permission.)