UofL biostatistician to develop statistical model that could help answer medical questions

March 2, 2011

A University of Louisville professor is developing a statistical model that, among other things, may help determine what prolongs cancer free survival.

Somnath Datta, PhD, a professor in the Department of and Biostatistics at the UofL School of Public Health and , and his team will incorporate medical and into the to find better answers to scientific questions.

A statistical model describes how one or more random variables relates to other variables. A multi-state model, which is the type Datta and his team are developing, looks at process – for example, how a person, moves from one state to another over a period of time.

For someone with cancer, the model could analyze how the disease progresses from one stage to another. Or, for a patient in remission, the model might help determine what prolongs cancer free survival. Datta could incorporate all these factors into his statistical model.

The new statistical model will allow for broad inspection of patient patterns and data collection that are more practical.

"The model will be derived from empirical evidence - based on observation or experience - rather than unverifiable mathematical laws," Datta said. "As a result, the prediction from the methodology will be more robust and less likely to include model misspecification errors."

In addition to having applications to research, the new statistical method will be applicable to many other disciplines ranging from engineering to political science that deal with staged systems – or any system that can transition from one phase or stage to another. In politics, for instance, this would involve all the elements from planning a campaign to taking office.

Datta recently received a two year grant from the National Security Agency (NSA) under the Mathematical Sciences Program for this project. Work is expected to begin this month.

Explore further: Maths scholar solves puzzle, wins world acclaim

Related Stories

Maths scholar solves puzzle, wins world acclaim

November 25, 2005

Finding a solution to a mathematical puzzle unsolved for over 15 years has won an ANU mathematical physicist two prestigious awards this month, with long-term practical implications for the physical sciences.

New statistical model could help reduce breast-lesion biopsies

November 30, 2008

A new method of characterizing breast lesions found during an MRI exam could result in fewer biopsies of benign tumors with the benefits of reduced pain and expense for patients and providers, according to a paper that will ...

New model predicts hot spots for mercury in fish

December 1, 2008

Mercury levels in fish are prompting widespread consumption advisories and uncertainty among consumers over which species are safe to eat. Now researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a model that will ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.