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A Transition Letter from Outgoing, Incoming Chairs

1 March 2012 No Comment
Steve Wilson, 2011 Chair, and Steve Gulyas, 2012 Chair

    As 2011 has drawn to a close and 2012 begins, the outgoing and incoming Biopharmacuetical Section chairs have decided to shake things up a bit by starting a new ‘tradition’—a jointly authored transition letter. Not only will they recognize some with a well-deserved thank you, but they also will look ahead to new faces and efforts taking shape for 2012.

    The BIOP Executive Committee

    Rick Caplan has served as secretary and our steady hand over the last three years, carefully providing precise meeting minutes, but he will now move into his new role as policy liaison. Christie Clark has led the student paper competition adeptly for many years. We thank her for this service and look forward to working with her in her new role as Council of Sections representative. We also thank Yongming Qu for leading the contributed poster competition committee and look forward to his contributions as associate editor of the Biopharmaceutical Report in 2012.

    Jeff Maca and Carmen Mak, serving as BIOP program chair and program chair-elect, respectively, for JSM 2011 did a tremendous job organizing five invited sessions, 28 contributed sessions, two short courses, and 14 roundtables. With more than 800 participants, six tutorials, 37 sessions, and 60+ roundtables, Brenda Crowe, Joan Buenconsejo, and a large crew of volunteers hit a ‘home run’ this year with the 2011 ASA Biopharmaceutical Section FDA-Industry Statistics Workshop—“the biggest and best ever”!

    We thank Alex Dmitrienko for his three years of service as Council of Sections representative and look forward to his continued service in his new role on the Fellows committee. We thank Tom Keefe, Veronica Taylor, and Anna Legedza for their years of service as at-large executive committee members and look forward to their future contributions.

    Daniel Christen has served as the webmaster and pushed to keep us informed on the Internet. Over the past many years, he has set the framework for the current website and initiated an archive for executive committee documents. As Amit Bhattacharyya is transitioning to his new role as chair-elect in 2012, we thank him for his service as associate editor to the Biopharmaceutical Report.

    In the spirit of saving the best for last, special credit and thanks need to be pointed in the direction of Kathy Monti, 2011 past chair. Her crowning achievement is the complete overhaul of the manual of operations—the “bible” of responsibilities for the executive committee.

    We also thank the continuing members of the committee: Matilde Sanchez (treasurer); Devan Mehrotra (publications officer); David Breiter and Stephine Keeton (Council of Sections representatives); Patricia Stephenson, Jose Pinhiero, and Joan Buenconsejo (at-large executive committee members); Mani Lakshminarayanan and Venkat Sethuraman (webinar co-chairs); Jose Alvir and Deb Panebianco (Biopharmaceutical Report editors); Margaret Minkwitz (interactive web clip chair); John Johnson (contributed paper award chair); and Neal Thomas (Fellows committee chair).

    Looking Ahead

    Olga Marchenko has joined the executive committee to reinvigorate the membership committee as its chair. She will be evaluating the need for a new member survey in 2012, among other ideas. We welcome Dionne Price back to the executive committee in her new role as secretary. As we write this, Jingyee Kou and Alan Hartford are well on their way to pulling off an encore performance for the 2012 ASA Biopharmaceutical Section FDA-Industry Workshop. We also welcome Jerry Wang as new chair of the contributed poster committee.

    2012 program chair Carmen Mak and program chair-elect Estelle Russek-Cohen are already assembling another successful conference program for JSM 2012 and ENAR 2013. Our three new at-large executive committee members will be Gary Aras, Jim MacDougall, and Kjell Johnson. Past chair Anna Nevius and our previous membership survey lead, Ed Luo, will co-chair the BIOP webmaster duties; they will be adapting the format of our section webpage, including our executive committee page, and looking to leverage the ASA Community portal. Last, the student paper committee will take on new leadership from Richard McNally.

    If that wasn’t enough, a flurry of new ideas is percolating among members of the executive committee and will likely emerge in 2012. For the contributed paper competition, BIOP is looking toward blazing another trail by evaluating the potential for smart phone voting during JSM sessions. In the distance learning committee, podcasts of seminars and virtual journal clubs are being discussed. And at the executive committee level, efforts to consolidate a professional development curriculum for “Statisticians as Leaders,” improving real-time communication via Twitter and texting alerts, and a continuous improvement initiative are being discussed. The latter four areas are in need of a champion; interested members should come forward to assist.

    We are proud to report that BIOP is as vibrant and healthy as ever, and we look forward to an exciting 2012. As always, there is room for one more volunteer in these and other capacities, so please reach out to any of us listed above if you would like to further your contributions to our section. We would be most appreciative.

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