In this project, the student will gain experience performing searches using Gene Expression Omnibus to identify relevant high-throughput genomic datasets that were procured to study either acute myeloid leukemia (AML), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or kidney transplantation. The student will learn how to download and read the associated datasets into the R programming environment, and perform preliminary analyses as described in the published manuscripts. An eventual goal of this research project is to then integrate the findings from the multiple published studies into an overall result using meta-analytic techniques and/or integrative analysis. As necessary, I will provide training on how to use R and relevant Bioconductor packages. The student will also complete training in human subjects research through the
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative.
My summer student will gain experience as a collaborating statistician with investigators from the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in the James Comprehensive Cancer Center. The potential projects the student will work on include exploratory analyses based on data collected in a randomized trial of a cancer prevention intervention or analysis of observational data collected in the Life and Longevity After Cancer (LILAC) study, which is prospective study of cancer survivors enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative. The student will attend meetings with collaborators to gain experience asking questions necessary to formulate an analysis plan and to explain results in nontechnical terms. After meeting with collaborators, the student and I will develop an analysis plan that the student will carry-out under my direction. The analyses that the student will perform will include basic descriptive statistics (e.g., constructing a summary demographics table for a publication) and regression modeling (linear or logistic regression). As necessary, I will provide training on how to use statistical software for the analysis, most likely STATA or SAS. The student will also periodically attend activities planned for the Center for Cancer Health Equity Summer Research Program lead by Dr. Electra Paskett. These activities will include human subjects training and introductory lectures, such as a lecture an introductory lecture on Epidemiology.
In this project, the student will work on the joint analysis of different types of genomic data, including SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) data and gene expression data. The goal is to develop a new methodology to study whether the SNPs are associated with the clinical outcome of the subject (patient) directly or indirectly (through regulating the gene expression level). The student is expected to be able to write down two separate linear models for the clinical outcome and the gene expression level, and then integrate them into a unified model. Marginal score test statistics for the unified model will be derived and combined using the adaptive Fisher’s method (developed by Dr. Song) to perform the statistical test. The undergraduate student will be involved in algorithm development, simulation and real data analysis. Depending on the knowledge background of the student, Dr. Song and his PhD student may help the undergraduate student learn the necessary statistical knowledge and R programming skills if needed.
Amy Ferketich’s group is engaged in public health research related to tobacco control policy. Students will learn the basics about observational research, collect data in the field, and analyze existing data from an adolescent cohort study. The field methods will involve visiting retail stores that sell tobacco products (gas stations, convenience stores) and completing an assessment of the marketing and advertising practices at the point of sale. The existing data that students will analyze come from the Buckeye Teen Health Study, which is a longitudinal cohort study of 1220 adolescent boys and their families in Franklin and rural Appalachian counties in Ohio. The goal of the study is to examine the influences of tobacco advertising, marketing, and imagery on initiation tobacco use and trajectories to addiction. The projects are part of the OSU Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (OSU-CERTS), which is funded by the Food and Drug Administration. In addition to field work and completing an independent research project, students will attend weekly team meetings and journal/book clubs, meet senior researchers in OSU-CERTS, and work with OSU undergraduate and graduate students.
I propose to work with a student on an analysis and manuscript using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments conduct PRAMS to collect annual, state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences surrounding pregnancy. Currently, PRAMs covers about 83 percent of births in the U.S. The exact research question would be developed in collaboration with the student, Dr. Lee Warner, who is the Chief of the Applied Sciences Branch at CDC and who leads PRAMs, and me. While I would work closely with the student, I would expect the student to take the lead on the project and to have first authorship on the peer-reviewed publication. One possible analysis would be to evaluate the relationship between diabetes mellitus (gestational and pre-pregnancy DM, assessed separately) and unsuccessful breastfeeding (defined as breastfeeding for less than a week) among PRAMS participants who report any breastfeeding. Diabetes during pregnancy has been identified as a possible determinant of delayed lactogenesis stage II (i.e., “milk let-down”) although the evidence is insufficient to implicate a specific type of diabetes. Understanding the possible role of pre-pregnancy and gestational DM in impaired lactation is important given the increase in DM in the U.S., the disparities in DM by race and ethnicity, and the importance of sustained breastfeeding in reducing DM type 2 following gestational DM. The analysis would have to account for the possibility that the frequency of initiating breastfeeding might be lower among women with compared to those without DM. PRAMS would provide a larger sample size to elucidate this relationship than past research on this topic and would allow us to differentiate between prepregnancy and gestational DM.
Bill Miller’s group is involved in two ongoing studies that offer opportunities for participation in the research. The first study is addressing the syphilis epidemic in Columbus. Like most large urban areas in the United States, Columbus is facing a marked increase in syphilis over the past few years. In this study, we are enrolling a cohort of young, high risk, gay men and will follow them to assess their risk for syphilis. Opportunities for participation include assisting with interviews, data management and entry, and ongoing data analyses for quality control. This study is in collaboration with Columbus Public Health and Equitas Health, so students will have the opportunity to engage with local public health organizations. The second study is addressing the opioid crisis in southern Ohio. The goal of this study is to develop a service delivery plan to prevent some of the complications related to injection drug use, such as HIV infection, hepatitis C virus, and sexually transmitted infections. This study will be enrolling participants who inject drugs during the summer months. Opportunities for student participation will include conducting interviews with study participants, data management, data cleaning, and data analyses for quality control. Students will need to travel to southern Ohio 2-3 days per week to assist with this study.