Lisa McShane: "Reproducibility of omics research: Shared responsibility and consequences of ignorance"
Lisa Meier McShane, Ph.D.
Acting Associate Director, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
U.S. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
When: December 5, 2018 - 5 pm s.t.
Where: Schellingstr. 3, Room S005
Irreproducible biomedical research is particularly concerning because flawed findings have the potential to make their way to clinical studies involving human participants. Many factors have been suggested as contributors to irreproducible biomedical research, including poor study design, analytic instability of measurement methods, sloppy data handling, inappropriate and misleading statistical analysis methods, improper reporting or interpretation of results, and on rare occasions, outright scientific misconduct. Potential for these problems to occur is amplified when the research involves use of novel measurement technologies such as “omics assays” which generate large volumes of data requiring specialized expertise and computational approaches for proper management, analysis and interpretation [http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2012/Evolution-of-Translational-Omics.aspx]. Successful translation of omics research findings to safe and effective clinical tests requires a research team with expertise including laboratory and clinical science, bioinformatics, computational science, and statistics. Team members share responsibility for ensuring that research is performed with integrity and best practices are followed to ensure reproducible results. Although making data and computer code publicly available are valuable and important first steps toward promoting reproducible research, they are not sufficient. Through a series of case studies, the many dimensions of reproducible omics research are explored, and shared responsibilities are discussed. Maintaining a culture of reproducible research requires effort, resources, and vigilance to counter many potential threats.
Following Lisa McShane's talk, two further talks and a subsequent discussion will be held on the STRATOS-Initiative:
- Willi Sauerbrei, 6:00-6:20 pm: The STRengthening Analytical Thinking for Observational Studies (STRATOS) initiative – aims, concept and the general approach
- Jörg Rahnenführer, 6:20-6:40 pm: STRATOS Topic Group 9: Analysis of high-dimensional data: Opportunities, challenges and goals
- Discussion: 6:40-7:00 pm