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The BDAC provides collaborative support in the design, execution and analysis of clinical trials and epidemiology studies conducted at the Boston OAIC. Additionally, the BDAC provides mentoring and collaborative opportunities for students and junior faculty in quantitative aspects of the study of physical function and impairments in aging. The BDAC is equipped to provide critical services on a consulting basis (e.g. in an advisory capacity in critical review of study data collection procedures) and more formally (e.g. in conducting simulation studies and power calculation).  Furthermore, the BDAC provides support for ongoing projects by providing critical review and expertise in evaluating study conduct, or more extensive, pre-specified contributions to trial objectives. Support services for study completion are also available in providing guidance and assistance in statistical analyses, as well as co-authorship of abstracts and manuscripts describing study results.

Core Director

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Thomas Travison, PhD,
Hebrew Senior Life,
Harvard Medical School

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director of Biostatistics Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew Senior Life
Co-Director, Program on Clinical Trials for IFAR

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Thomas Travison is Senior Scientist and Director of Biostatistics at the Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research (IFAR), Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He co-directs the Interventional Studies in Aging Center at IFAR. Dr. Travison’s work has focused on the interface between the endocrinology of aging and functional decline, on multicomponent interventions for the prevention of loss of independence in aging, and on graphical data display. He was lead author on the development of the first assessments of clinical significance of androgen supplementation for improvement of physical function in frail men with mobility limitation, and of the durability of androgen insufficiency in community-dwelling men. He is lead biostatistician on the NIA / FNIH Sarcopenia Consortium, which addresses the influence of body mass and function on mobility limitation and downstream clinical endpoints. He leads the analytic team for the Endocrine Society / CDC / PATH multicohort derivation of age-specific sex steroid reference ranges in men, and has designed and analyzed numerous clinical trials of function-promoting interventions in older women and men. 

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Paola Sebastiani, PhD,
Professor of Biostatistics,
Boston University School of Public Health

Paola Sebastiani PhD is Professor of Biostatistics at Boston University School of Public Health. She is a pioneer in using a Bayesian network approach to integrate genetic and non-genetic risk factors from genetic association studies and  introduced a novel Bayesian approach to model the genetic and phenotypic bases of extreme longevity that identified genetic signatures of extreme human longevity. She has introduced a new epidemiological metric to design studies of human longevity, new ways to assess the trade-off between genes and environment in human aging, and she recently developed a propensity score of human longevity that can be used to inform analysis of observational studies. As primary statistician in multicenter collaborations of longevity and healthy aging, including the New England Centenarian Study, the Long Life Family Study, and the Longevity Consortium, has expertise and substantial experience in analyzing a variety of aging phenotypes and correlating them with biological, clinical, epidemiological data.

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Ralph D’Agostino, PhD,
Professor of Mathematics, Biostatistics and Epidemiology,
Boston University

Executive Director of Biostatistics and Data Management at Harvard Clinical Research Institute

Professor D’Agostino is a Professor of Mathematics/Statistics, Biostatistics and Epidemiology. He is in the top 1% of the most cited researchers in clinical medicine, among the top 400 researchers in Medicine and has over 700 publications dealing with medical research and statistical methods applied to medical/health issues. He has had extensive and broad experience in clinical trials and epidemiology. He has been affiliated with the Food and Drug Administration since 1974. He has served on numerous Advisory Committees as a member or voting consultant including the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory committee ((NDAC)which he chaired for two years in the 1990s), the Cardio-Renal Advisory Committee (CRDAC), the Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC), GI Committee, Drug Abuse Committee, Circulatory Devices, etc. He has served as a consultant to a number of major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, Bayer, etc. In these above roles he has had extensive experience in designing, overseeing, analyzing, presenting and reviewing clinical trials. He is also an editor of Statistics in Medicine and on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine. In these positions he has extensive experiences reviewing and evaluating the latest contributions to medical statistics. Further, he has been affiliated with the Framingham Heart Study since 1981 and was Co-Principal Investigator for 30 years. He has extensive experience in epidemiology and the integration of pragmatic research (clinical trials and observational studies) with well-designed clinical trials. He is also the Executive Director of Biostatistics and Data Management at Harvard Clinical Research Institute with experience at all levels of the implementation and oversight of clinical trials (efficacy, effectiveness and pragmatic).

Karol Pencina, PhD,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital,
Harvard Medical School

Instructor Harvard Medical School
Chief Biostatistician, Division of Men’s Health, Aging and Metabolism

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Karol Pencina is a Chief Biostatistician at Section on Men’s Health, Aging and Metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His professional experience comprises of inter-disciplinary applications of statistical methods in outcomes research and clinical trials. He conceptualizes statistical design as well as performs actual analyses involving understudied aspect of long-term testosterone treatment on ageing in older men.Dr. Pencina is also biostatistician on the NIA / FNIH Sarcopenia Consortium, which addresses the influence of body mass and function on mobility limitation and downstream clinical endpoints. The purpose of this grant is to establish new optimal definition of Sarcopenia and assessment of its performance as a biomarker for identification of individuals at risk of physical disability. Previously, he has been professionally affiliated with the Framingham Heart Study, where he provided advanced statistical design an analytics on numerous projects related to analyzing the effect of sub-clinical disease measures on the risk of cardiovascular events and ageing. Dr. Pencina methodological research focuses on new measures of improvement in model performance and provides their meaningful interpretations. The main areas of application include building risk prediction models, evaluating the incremental performance of new biomarkers and to determine its usefulness in prevention strategies.

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