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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 4 (2009 Deadline)

Establishing a Biostatistical Consulting Center

Hafiz Anwar Ahmad, Jackson State University
Talat Naseer Pasha (as of July 2012) and Muhammad Aleem Bhatti (prior to July 2012), University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Pakistani Funding (Department of State): $76,113
US Funding (Department of State): $338,332
Project Dates: November 15, 2010 - November 14, 2013 (Extended through September 30, 2014)
Project Overview
The project will create a new Biostatistical Consulting Center (BCC) at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) in Lahore, with help from the Biostatistical Support Unit at Jackson State University (JSU). The new center will provide critical research-infrastructure support to investigators and students in Pakistan in conducting high-quality research through efficient experimental design and valid data analysis. A state-of-the-art statistical computing lab will be established at UVAS with all the necessary hardware and statistical software packages. A project website will be launched featuring online courses, workshop schedules, and other related information. A series of onsite workshops, short courses, and seminars will be conducted at UVAS to develop critical human resources in the areas of experimental design and data analysis in Pakistan. Researchers and graduate students who have already collected their research data will be identified for further training at JSU. These activities will produce sufficient numbers of trained personnel who in turn will be able to provide biostatistics training to other Pakistani researchers and students. Using this “train-the-trainers” approach, these efforts should lay the necessary foundations to create a thriving and sustainable research environment at UVAS, with the new BCC serving as a center of excellence in biostatistics. As a further benefit, a well-functioning BCC should help to attract qualified faculty and students to conduct high quality research at UVAS and will be instrumental in attracting extramural funding and creating a critical interdisciplinary link to address a wide range of complex scientific problems. 
Quarterly Update 
During the year 2012-2013, the project has successfully achieved its objectives – to establish the Biostatistics computer lab at UVAS and to provide training to faculty and students through various activities. The computer lab is functioning smoothly and serves as a great resource to researchers and faculty across Pakistan and will be used as a venue for all workshops, short courses, and software training activities planned during the final phase of the project.

Five training events in biostatistics and data analysis were organized at UVAS and UAF, including a 2-credit hour video course on advanced Biostatistics with additional funding from Virtual Education Program Pakistan (VEPP). In total, 184 (104 male vs. 80 female) faculty, researchers, and graduate students from more than 20 institutions of Pakistan were trained in different aspects of experimental designs, data analyses, software training, manuscript writing and proposal development through several formal and informal training and consulting activities conducted during the third year of the project. Primary websites at were updated with project related information, including workshop schedules, programs, and lectures plus biostatistics course contents with PowerPoint presentations.
Three UVAS visiting scholars spent three months in a rigorous training program at JSU on data analysis, analytical software, manuscript writing and research proposal development. Several papers and presentations resulted from the project (please see publication section for details). Following consultations with various academicians and administrators, the US and Pakistani team discussed enhancing future collaboration through more research, writing, and proposal submissions for external funding.
Progress Reports

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