A Research Blog

Computer brainToday's Microscope contribution is from the Centre for Quantitative Medicine at Duke-NUS Medical School to share more about what they do.

Biostatistics plays a pivotal role in a broad range of research fields, including medical, biological and health sciences. Statistical analysis of data is essential to derive accurate scientific conclusions from sometimes large amounts of seemingly meaningless information. It is imperative that researchers, clinician-scientists and research personnel alike have a sound grasp of the principles of biostatistics and epidemiology to critically assess scientific and medical literature, and to engage in effective development and evaluation of their own research hypotheses.

The Centre for Quantitative Medicine (CQM) at Duke-NUS was formed primarily to provide quantitative support to clinician-scientists and other researchers, ensuring rigour and quality of biomedical research conducted in Singapore. It also serves as an academic home and network for biostatisticians and other quantitative scientists in the biomedical sector. In doing this, CQM facilitates the development of quantitative research expertise at Duke-NUS and across Singapore. It also provides mentoring to medical students, biostatisticians and epidemiologists in the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre (AMC), engages in clinical and health services research, and conducts biostatistics methodology research.

Specifically, CQM provides quantitative mentoring of third year Duke-NUS medical students (MS3) undertaking their research projects, NUS-YLLSoM Master of Clinical Investigation (MCI) students, and those involved in the Khoo Clinical Scholars Programme (KCS). In addition, CQM is also involved in residency training for various SingHealth institutions, currently running through the SingHealth Residency training programme.

With the increasing volume and complexity of data in biomedical sciences, the relevance of quantitative biology and medicine as a discipline is more pronounced than ever before. Recognising the well-perceived shortage of trained professionals in this sector locally and internationally, CQM, in collaboration with the Centre for Computational Biology (“CCB”), has launched a brand-new Ph.D programme in Integrated Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, the first of its kind in Singapore. With the first student intake planned for August 2017, this Ph.D. programme distinguishes itself from others by focusing on the application of statistics to biomedical research, as well as the quantitative modelling of basic and translational research.

Beyond education and mentorship, CQM supports implementing research initiatives from start to end. For starters, CQM runs free biweekly Research Methodology Clinics to provide advice and guidance on study design, statistical analysis, research grant applications and scientific publications. In the development of manuscripts, CQM can authenticate data accuracy, help analyse data, and interpret the findings accurately to derive at a scientific conclusion.

CQM’s major areas of methodological expertise are censored data and survival analysis, clinical trials and adaptive designs, dynamic treatment regimens and personalised medicine, genetic and genomic analysis, pharmacovigilance, quality of life research and psychometrics, and systematic review and meta-analysis. CQM is heavily involved in many collaborative and methodology research with a broad range of people from junior to senior clinicians and clinician-scientists, to biomedical researchers in numerous fields.

CQM also conducts pre-reviews for grant call submissions such as to the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), to provide quantitative critiquing prior to grant submission by SingHealth researchers.

The concerted efforts of CQM in its totality is geared towards improving the quality of research outputs from our SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC, thus making an impact on the understanding and practice of medicine and improvement of medical care. This, in turn, fulfils Duke-NUS’ mission of transforming medicine and improving lives.

Find out more about the forums, workshops and Journal Club organised by the CQM here.

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