Baylor University
Department of Statistical Science
College of Arts & Sciences

When is Reproducibility an Ethical Issue? Genomics, Personalized Medicine, and Human Error

Sept. 3, 2013


Modern high-throughput biological assays let us ask detailed questions about how diseases operate, and promise to let us personalize therapy. Careful data processing is essential, because our intuition about what the answers "should" look like is very poor when we have to juggle thousands of things at once. When documentation of such processing is absent, we must apply "forensic bioinformatics" to work from the raw data and reported results to infer what the methods must have been. We will present several case studies where simple errors may have put patients at risk. This work has prompted several journals to revisit the types of information that must accompany publications. We discuss steps we take to avoid such errors, and lessons that can be applied to large data sets more broadly. This work has been covered in the scientific press, on the front page of the New York Times, and on 60 Minutes.

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM, Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Marrs McLean Science, Room 301

Refreshments in Lobby of Statistical Science Department from 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM