In this Master Class timely topics in study design of epidemiologic and clinical studies will be addressed. Three renowned faculty members will address advanced study design issues in a seminar format.
Pragmatic trials: How to evaluate vaccines against Ebola Virus disease
Prof. Matthias Egger
Monday August 10, 2015
The current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa is the largest outbreak ever recorded. There is an urgent need for efficacy and safety testing of the available unlicensed vaccine candidates. Evaluating vaccine efficacy during outbreaks is challenging due to the timescales involved, ethical concerns, and operational challenges. In this presentation I will review different study designs, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and present a new design: the Ring Vaccination Trial (RVT). Ring vaccination around cases was used successfully in the smallpox eradication programme in the 1970s. A RVT is a variation of a cluster randomised trial, which tracks the epidemic and recruits individuals at raised risk of infection due to their connection to a case. The approach was implemented earlier this year in Guinea, and I will conclude by presenting the results from an interim analysis of the Guinea trial.
A New Approach to Teaching and Learning: Welcome to the World of MOOCs
Prof. Stanley Lemeshow
Wednesday August 12, 2015
The availability of courses, taught by outstanding teachers from some of the world’s finest universities, is rapidly growing. These courses cost nothing to take other than the commitment of time. They are absolutely free of charge and, perhaps as a result, can attract huge numbers of enrollees. Among these courses are a growing number covering topics in biostatistics and epidemiology.
Based on two MOOCs I developed that have been offered on the Coursera platform, I will try to share my experiences and observations. I hope to begin a discussion of the future of MOOCs and the pivotal role they may play in the future of higher education.
From epidemiology to planetary health
Prof. Robert Beaglehole
Thursday August 13, 2015
Epidemiology as a core discipline of public health has made enormous contributions to improving the health of individuals and communities. The focus of epidemiology has been on specific diseases (eg, Ebola, non-communicable diseases) and specific risk populations (eg, children, pregnant women). However, epidemiology and public health more generally, have failed to keep up with the challenges of globalization and the threats it poses to the health of the planet. This talk focuses on these broad challenges and suggests ways in which epidemiologists can assist societies ensure long-term sustainable human development.