Clinical and Translational Research Seminar, Four-Part Series

CTSI Academy: Clinical and Translational Research Seminar, Four-Part Series

CTSI Academy is hosting a Clinical and Translational Research Seminar, four-part series. Lectures will cover a range of topics aimed at facilitating the translation of basic, clinical and population health research.

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Laurens Holmes, Jr., MD, DrPH, joined CTSI as Professor and Director of CTSI Education and Training. Dr. Holmes is Board Certified in Public Health, a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, and a member of the American Public Health Association. He has over twenty-five years of teaching and research experience in universities both within and outside of the United States. Dr. Holmes has published a number of books in biostatistics and epidemiology, and has developed coursework for both undergraduate and graduate education.


  • Faculty and staff from CTSI partner institutions
  • Community members
  • Industry partners
  • Anyone interested in clinical and translational research


Second Wednesday of the month from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

You are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch!

Lecture Topics & Descriptions

Health Disparities Measures: Perspectives & Challenges in Achieving Health Equity

Wednesday, September 13: HRC Auditorium H1400

Health disparities reflects sub-populations morbidity (incidence, prevalence, screening, treatment, severity, prognosis, safety) and mortality outcomes that differ by socio-demographic indicators namely race, ethnicity, race/ethnicity, sex, age, geography, language, disability, income, education, and more recently drug/alcohol, overweight/obesity, acculturation and country of origin. These variances have been conceptualized by the WHO and CDC as absolute and relative.  Whereas, the absolute measure assesses the difference in outcomes comparing subpopulations such as the mean or proportion (prevalence difference), the relative measure examines the imbalance in outcomes using one sub-population as the reference group, thus determining the rate, risk  or hazard ratio for instance. The underlying issues are: 1) The selection of reference group, 2) When and when not to use relative or absolute measure, and 3) appropriateness of these measures in mapping intervention in narrowing and ultimately eliminating the consistent and perpetual unequal outcomes of health and healthcare in the United States population.

This presentation will highlight:

  • Substantial issues regarding the choice of disparities measure: absolute versus relative
  • Current measures of health disparities and their relevance to the cause of causes (etio-pathogenesis of health disparities)
  • Rationale for the selection of disparities measures (prevalence, incidence, risk factors, treatment, safety, disease severity and progression, and mortality outcome); and,
  • Challenges in the transfer of disparities measures data to intervention mapping, implementation and evaluation in addressing sub-population health and healthcare variance.
Reality in Statistical Modeling of Clinical and Translational Research Data: The Case Against P-Value

Wednesday, October 11: HRC Auditorium H1400

Clinical and public health decision-making requires an understanding of the pathway to data modeling and analysis in order to draw a reliable and valid inference. Reality in statistical modeling of clinical and translational research data requires sampling as the basis of a design as well as for modeling. This lecture de-emphasizes the notion of P-value as the measure of sample statistic as well as sample precision in the interpretation of data and the application in addressing therapeutics and prevention. Significantly, P-value is not a measure of evidence but reflects the sample size which is of no practical importance to clinical medicine and public health.

Regression versus Stratification Analysis: When and When Not to use Regression in Clinical and Translational Research Data Modeling

Wednesday, November 8: Medical Education Building M2550-M2580

Application of statistics is required in quantifying the variation in a sample which may come from biologic variability as well as measurement errors.  Because nothing explains everything, there is a need to assess for confounding, effect measure modifier, and quantify the random error.  Tabulation analysis is essential in assessing the data as well as facilitating the adjustment of a single confounding variable using stratification model. In contrast, when confronted with many confounding variables, regression model becomes appropriate in performing multi-variable analysis that allows for the adjustment of many confounding variables simultaneously.  Since regression hides many attributes of the sample data, tabulation analysis is required prior to any regression model.

“Big Data”: Perspectives and Challenges in Clinical and Population Health Decision Making

Wednesday, December 13: Discovery Classroom M3750

The emergency of “Big Data” in medicine and public health has shaken the foundation of statistics, implying sampling and the quantification of variation in data. The “Big Data” concept completely ignores the effect size which is a clinically meaningful difference and deifies P-value as the measure of evidence. Clinicians and public health officials should respect that big data does not imply sample size, but rather data size in their decision-making in improving human health, implying that bigger is not always better with respect to “Big Data.”

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


Zablocki VA Medical CenterMedical College of WisconsinMSOE