Leveraging their expertise from successes in the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), the Vaccine Statistical Support (VSS) platform will assemble interdisciplinary teams to collaborate on specific vaccine research projects in BMGF-priority infectious diseases beyond CAVD. The team will provide state-of-the-art statistical computational methods for study design and data analyses. Specific areas of expertise and novel methodological development are the analysis of high-dimensional immunological datasets (e.g. CyTOF, flow cytometry, RNA-seq, single-cell RNA-seq), down-selection of immunological readouts for correlates analysis, (multivariate) immunologic correlates of protection, sieve analyses, and repeated low-dose challenge experiments in animal model systems. The team also designs data models for novel immunologic assays and supports data sharing and collaboration.
VSS uses state of the art tools and workflows for reproducible research to ensure that complex data sets are processed and tracked consistently across reports and over time so that results can be reproduced with confidence even years after a study is completed. Through its work on each project, the statistical team identifies best practices for study designs and data analysis and may advise on standard nomenclatures and data formats to facilitate data sharing and communication. In this way, project-specific solutions to research problems become platforms on which the larger research program can be based.