PHUSE Single Day Event – Cincinnati by Michael Rimler, Chair

Recently, I had the honour of chairing a PHUSE Single Day Event (SDE) in Cincinnati, OH. It was hosted on the Medpace campus, the CRO where my career first transitioned from academia to the pharmaceutical industry. My Co-Chair for the SDE, Jeff Vest, was actually one of my interviewers for that first ‘SAS Programmer’ role 10 years ago. The event was a year in the making and a first for me to organise and execute. The experience was both challenging and extremely rewarding.

I attended my first PHUSE event in 2017 at the EU Connect in Edinburgh. Following my next event, the first-ever US Connect, in Raleigh in 2018, I was invited to chair the Machine Learning Stream for the US Connect in Baltimore. This opportunity led me to an SDE in Mississauga, where I pitched Chris Hurley on the idea of hosting an SDE in the Midwest of the US. After some discussion, and a fortunate opening in the 2019 SDE calendar, the PHUSE Cincinnati Single Day Event became a reality. The next year of planning would take effort, but the PHUSE organisation has a tremendous support network of both people and reference documentation to help you every step of the way. If you have any taste for doing something like this, I highly encourage you to put yourself out there and volunteer, perhaps by visiting the PHUSE 2019 SDEs webpage for contact information.

Early on in the planning, we decided on a theme centered around data visualisation. This is a hot topic in many industries, but particularly in the area of pharmaceutical drug development. As clinical trial analysis has evolved from collecting data on paper CRFs to electronic CRFs, so has clinical trial reporting evolved from printed analysis results to electronically delivered analysis results. The advances in data visualisation techniques provide numerous opportunities for more efficient (and effective) data monitoring, reporting, review, and potentially submissions!

During the day, discussions ranged from a PHUSE Working Group project’s survey results on visualising subject-level data to the merits of graph database designs in clinical research. We saw interactive data visualisations for both instream monitoring and trial reporting. We learned about the grammar of graphics, as well as Julia, an open-source programming language that I was unaware of until the SDE. We were also joined by the FDA to discuss the application of machine learning techniques to predict drug-drug interaction effects, which also happens to be one of the current PHUSE/FDA Data Science Innovation Challenge topics.

Overall, I would say the day was an incredible success, with only one minor technical glitch that registered a temporary five-minute delay to the planned agenda. Many thanks to my Co-Chair, Jeff Vest (Medpace), for his partnership throughout the process. My gratitude also goes out to Suhas Sanjee and Mouly Satyavarapu (Americas SDE Co-Leads), Chris Hurley (Americas Director), and Rebecca Hurley (PHUSE Events Assistant). Without the help and support of each of them, this event (and I suspect any Americas SDE) would not be possible.

Proceedings and photos are published on the PHUSE Cincinnati SDE webpage


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Tags: SDEs

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