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Massey researcher honored with esteemed statistical applications award

Jun 07, 2021

Bandyopadhyay headshot

Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D., a research member at VCU Massey Cancer Center and the director of Massey’s Biostatistics Shared Resource, recently won the 2021 Outstanding Statistical Applications Award from the American Statistical Association (ASA) for his paper “Bayesian Nonparametric Policy Search With Application to Periodontal Recall Intervals”.

Bandyopadhyay, who is also a professor in the Department of Biostatistics in the VCU School of Medicine, co-authored the 2020 study with Qian Guan, Ph.D., Brian J. Reich, Ph.D., and Eric B. Laber, Ph.D., from the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University.

Originally published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, the research utilizes Bayesian statistics, a statistical inference method which updates the probability of a hypothesis as new information becomes available, to assess the importance of more frequent dental checkups for patients with a history of periodontal disease.

This study is the first to examine the century-old debate on the standard practice of recommending biannual dental visits. The authors alternatively examine a flexible framework to recommend treatment intervals based on individual patient health data.

"I am thrilled to be recognized with this highly prestigious and competitive award,” said Bandyopadhyay. “With the long-established link between increased oral cancer incidence among individuals with advanced gum diseases, this direction of research may generate significant impact on health policy, in particular, on oral and oropharyngeal cancer screening.”

Renowned for his influential research on oral health best practices, Bandyopadhyay was named an ASA fellow in 2018. His work is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Active in service to the applied statistics field, Bandyopadhyay was program chair of the biometrics section of the ASA in 2016, and in 2015 was honored with the Outstanding Young Researcher Award in the Applications Category from the International Indian Statistical Association. In 2020, he received the Gertrude M. Cox award from the Washington Statistical Society, the largest chapter of the ASA.

The ASA is the world’s largest community of statisticians and the second oldest continuously operating professional association in the United States. The outstanding statistical application award, established in 1986, recognizes the authors of papers that demonstrate an outstanding application of statistics in any substantive field.

The award will be announced at the 2021 Joint Statistical Meetings, which will be held virtually. Recipients will receive an engraved award and $1,000 that is divided evenly among the authors of the paper.

Written by: Melissa Mitchell

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