Dr. Himel Mallick Receives 2023 "Stan Altan" Best Nonclinical Biostatistics Paper Award

Dr. Himel Mallick, assistant professor of population health sciences, has received the 2023 "Stan Altan" Best Nonclinical Biostatistics Paper Award, for his paper in PLOS Computational Biology on a statistical method and software that provides the first unified framework for the discovery of multivariable associations in population-scale microbial community studies. 

Microbial communities are groups of microorganisms that share a common living space. Several statistical methods have been proposed to identify phenotypic or environmental associations with microbiome features—such as genes or chemicals—from molecular profiles of microbial communities. For human microbiome translational research, most of these are primarily focused on univariable associations. Dr. Mallick's approach uses an optimized combination of novel and established methodology to assess multivariable association of microbial community features. 

The associated software has currently been downloaded more than 25,000 times, with over 450 citations since its publication. The paper is also one of PLOS Computational Biology’s top noteworthy articles of 2021. 

The Stan Altan Paper Award is conferred by the American Statistical Association to the best nonclinical biostatistics paper, which must address a relevant topic in nonclinical biostatistics disciplines for the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Stan Altan, a statistician at Johnson & Johnson, is widely recognized for efforts to unify practitioners of nonclinical statistics and highlighting the critical effect of statistics in drug development. 

“Dr. Stan Altan has been a champion of every aspect of the broad range of statistical methods used in nonclinical research,” said Dr. Mallick, “and it was a great feeling to receive the award from him at the NCB 2023 conference. I would like to congratulate all the co-authors of our paper for this recognition.” 

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