Statistics workshop

The 4th ITN CaReSyAn Workshop, specifically on statistics, took place from June 15th to June 17th. In addition to all ESRs from our ITN CaReSyAn, also PhD students from the German consortium TRR219, focusing on the cardiorenal syndrome, joined this workshop. Due to the global pandemic of Covid19, it was not possible to meet and all the lectures were held online. Prof. Georg Heinze from the Medical University of Vienna and Jeppe Christensen (PhD student in Vienna, CaReSyAn) prepared a shared online drive where the students could download and consult the material. Prof. Heinze focused first on data analysis basis, the topic was then followed by a general talk on initial data analysis (held by a CaReSyAn PhD student). Jeppe Christensen held an open R session to help the participants to get familiar with this programming language. Other important topics addressed during the workshop were t-tests, ANOVA and regressions analyses. All the theoretical notions were supported by practical examples exploited in R and the students received useful handouts with all the commands and the steps to correctly perform the exercises. Important focus was given to the p-value topic and its misuse in science which led to an interesting discussion within the participants. Two external professors gave seminars on Bioinformatics and System Biology (Paul Perco, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria) and Reproducibility of Animal Experiments (Prof. Dr. Florian Frommlet Medical University of Vienna, Austria).

Even though it was not possible to join in person, the workshop had a good participation, students were enthusiastic and showed great interest to the topics.

Take home messages were: know well your data, choose your favorite statistics program (although R is a good recommended option) and don’t give too much power to p-values for judging your experiments and analyses!