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Scientific Leadership & Statistical Unit

Ziding Feng, Ph.D., is a Full Member and Co-Program Head of the Biostatistics Program in the Division of Public Health Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and is the Director of COMPASS. Dr. Feng assumed the role of COMPASS Director in the Fall of 2018 to ensure a seamless transition of leadership ahead of Dr. Mark Thornquist’s upcoming retirement. Dr. Thornquist founded COMPASS in 1998, and built COMPASS into a well-respected and functional research infrastructure. Dr. Feng has worked closely with Dr. Thornquist since the year 2000 as the PI of the NCI-funded Early Detection Research Network (EDRN)’s Data Management and Coordinating Center (EDRN-DMCC). Dr. Feng’s research focuses on the design and evaluation of biomarkers for cancer risk prediction, early detection, diagnosis, and prognosis, and on coordinating large multicenter biomarker validation studies. Dr. Feng is an active researcher in developing statistical methodologies in biomarker study design and evaluations. Dr. Feng has also collaborated extensively with cancer biomarker researchers, and has been the lead biostatistician for five completed EDRN validation studies: four in prostate cancer (SELDI, proPSA, PCA3, PCA3&T2-ERG) and one in liver cancer (DCP). The latter four of these trials contributed to four FDA-approved biomarkers. He is also the lead biostatistician on two ongoing EDRN validation studies (liver cancer and colorectal cancer). Furthermore, he was the lead biostatistician or senior investigator on many biomarker studies in lung, pancreatic, liver, and esophageal cancers. In addition to the EDRN-DMCC, Dr. Feng is also the Contact PI for the DMCC for the newly NCI funded Translational Liver Cancer (TLC) consortium, coordinated by COMPASS, and he leads the coordinating center activities for the New-Onset Diabetes Cohort Study (NOD), one of the high-priority studies the NCI is conducting. In addition to biomarker evaluations, Dr. Feng has over a decade of methodology and collaborative research in community health promotion and interventional trials (cancer screening, smoking cessation, dietary modification), and served as the lead biostatistician on the Working Well Trial and 5aDay trial.

Matt Barnett, M.S. in Biostatistics, has over 25 years of experience providing statistical and data management support to COMPASS projects. Mr. Barnett consults with scientific investigators on study design issues and provides statistical analyses for publications and reports. He contributes to study coordination efforts by providing statistical guidance in the design, development, and implementation of procedures for data collection, management, and quality control. Mr. Barnett’s current primary responsibilities center on providing support to the Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) under the direction of the PI Dr. Chu Chen, including management of the extensive CARET Biorepository and associated scientific databases, as well as analytic support to collaborative studies using CARET specimens and data.

Elisabeth Beaber, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a Senior Staff Scientist and serves as the Scientific Director of the Coordinating Center for the Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process(PROSPR) program, led by PIs Drs. Christopher Li, William Barlow, and Yingye Zheng. Dr. Beaber joined the COMPASS team in 2013. She is a cancer epidemiologist with expertise in epidemiologic methods and a strong record of cancer screening research experience. Dr. Beaber’s research interests include cancer screening, health disparities, breast cancer epidemiology, and women’s health. Her data analysis, data management, and scientific leadership experience make her an ideal team member for collaborative and multi-disciplinary research projects. Dr. Beaber’s role on the PROSPR program includes leading trans-network projects and working groups, serving as an epidemiologic liaison across research centers, understanding diverse data sources, and contributing to the scientific aspects of project management. Dr. Beaber received her Ph.D. and M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Washington. She received a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences from Cornell University.

Dale McLerran, M.S. in Biomathematics, has over 30 years of experience providing statistical and data management support at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Mr. McLerran has particular expertise in the analysis of data with correlated error structures and is also respected for providing innovative analyses for nontraditional statistical problems. He is credited with two manuscripts on which he is first author. He consults with scientific investigators on study design issues and provides statistical analyses for publications and reports. His current primary responsibilities include support for the Validation and Comparison of Biomarkers for the Early Detection of Colorectal Adenocarcinoma (GLNE 010) as well as the Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process(PROSPR) studies. Activities to date on these projects are mostly limited to consultations about data design and reports about early data collection efforts.

Suzanna Reid, Ph.D., is the COMPASS IT Project Manager and is a member of the COMPASS Scientific Leadership Team. Dr. Reid’s formal education and background is in basic research (B.S. in Biochemistry; Ph.D. in Immunology; Post Doctoral Research in Hematology) but left research to pursue interests in IT and IT project management with the intent of incorporating the additional IT skill set back into basic research. The COMPASS IT Project Manager serves as a liaison between clients (internal and external) and COMPASS IT staff. Dr. Reid supervises COMPASS IT staff and processes to evaluate client IT needs for research work (develop statement of work and staffing levels for grants) as well as performing oversight of the software development life cycle to ensure delivery of quality IT applications that assist with data capture and management pertaining to scientific research.