Judith Peñafiel holds a bachelor's degree in statistics and a master's degree in biostatistics and bioinformatics. He has spent five years at IMIM applying her knowledge in biostatistics to cardiovascular research. After spending a year in the infectious diseases unit of Hospital Clinic, she has recently joined IDIBELL’s SAS.
Natalia Pallarés holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in biostatistics and bioinformatics. She has also spent two and a half years at IMIM, working on pancreatic cancer and environmental toxicity research, before joining IDIBELL's SAS.
What does your arrival represent for the IDIBELL Statistical Advisory Service?
NP: Having a statistical service close to a hospital as big as Bellvitge, where there are many doctors carrying out research, is very important. Obviously, there is always a lot of work, and so far there was only one person [Cristian Tebé, responsible for the service] to do it. Now that we are more staff we can give a better response to the current demand.
JP: It is always better to be a group, since we can all contribute with our knowledge.
Is there a 'typical” SAS user? What services would you offer to him/her?
JP: We help everyone who needs it. We provide support and advice on database management, calculation of sample sizes, statistical analysis in general, linear regressions, survival analysis, description tables... in short, we can offer our services from the start of any study, when collecting data, until the end, when interpretating and presenting results.
NP: Besides, we can also help in writing a project proposal to submit in competitive calls.
What is the current level of statistical knowledge of IDIBELL’s research groups? Do you see any unmet need?
NP: It's hard to say, since all research groups have members with very different profiles; for example, groups specialized in epidemiology are likely to be stronger in statistics than others.
JP: In any case, it is important that researchers have certain knowledge regardless of the focus of their group, as it can always help them when writing or interpreting other scientific works. The SAS can help on that.
What future challenges do you have as a service?
JP: Cristian should answer this [laughs], but obviously there is the idea of consolidating ourselves as a group, carrying out our own works and methodological articles, reaching out...
NP: We would also like to give the opportunity to master or last-year bachelor students to carry out their final projects here. This prompts us to kep on learning.