Laetitia is a graduate in Applied Mathematics and she also has a Master’s degree in Applied Statistics and Modelling from the University of Porto, Portugal. At present, she is a PhD student on Applied Mathematics and she works in the Research Unit UNIFAI (Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Portugal)
1. Why do you like Biostatistics?
Biostatistics allows for the application of statistical theory to various areas of research practice and to work in various areas. Statistics and medicine are two areas of great interest for me and biostatistics allows me to work in both.
2. Could you give us some insight in your current field of research?
My PhD work focuses on survival analysis in the presence of competing risks. All the practical work is based on end-stage renal disease patients with peritoneal dialysis as renal function replacement therapy. We explore several statistical approaches, such as regression models taking competing risks into account, multistate models and joint models for longitudinal and competing risks data. Using these approaches, we can give more and better information about the disease progression, helping clinicians in the evaluation of patients and treatment planning.
Combined with my PhD, I am a fellow researcher at UNIFAI/ICBAS-UP, a Research Unit specialized in ageing and health.
3. Which are, in your opinion, the main advantages of being a researcher?
The opportunity to work in several areas with multidisciplinary teams.
4. What do you think of the situation of young biostatisticians in Portugal?
In Portugal, biostatisticians are mostly present in higher education institutions. Some public and private enterprises have been integrating some young biostatisticians, however in a very limited number. Some colleagues have gone to other European countries, where they have found better opportunities in this area.
5. What would be the 3 main characteristics or skills you would use to describe a good biostatistician?
Interested in research, versatile and good communicator.
6. Which do you think are the main qualities of a good mentor?
Motivator, interested in research and dedicated, good communicator.
7. Finally, is there any topic you would like to see covered in the blog?
A list of working groups organized by research themes. This list would be important for young biostatisticians to find people according to working area and would allow students/researchers to create other networks.
- Teixeira, L., Rodrigues, A., Carvalho, M.J., Cabrita, A. & Mendonça, D. (2013). Modeling Competing Risks in Nephrology Research: An Example in Peritoneal Dialysis. BMC Nephrology 2013, 14:110 doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-110
- Cotovio, P., Rocha, A., Carvalho, M.J., Teixeira, L., Mendonça, D., Cabrita, A., & Rodrigues, A. (2013). Better Outcomes of Peritoneal Dialysis in Diabetic Patients in Spite of Risk of Loss of Autonomy for Hemodialysis. Accepted – Peritoneal Dialysis International.
- Rocha, A., Rodrigues, A., Teixeira, L., Carvalho, M. J., Mendonça, D., & Cabrita, A. (2012). Temporal Trends in Peritonitis Rates, Microbiology and Outcomes: The Major Clinical Complication of Peritoneal Dialysis. Blood Purification, 33(4), 284-291.