Dr Shah-Jalal Sarker

Dr Shah-Jalal Sarker

MSc (Stat), MSc (Epid), PhD, PGCAP, FHEA
Centre: Experimental Cancer Medicine
Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics
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QMUL Directory


My biostatistical research focuses on design, implementation and analysis of cancer clinical trials, cost-effectiveness trials, sample sizing, survival analysis, frailty modelling and missing data methods.

My main research interests are in statistical research including design, conduct and analysis of cancer clinical trials, cost-effectiveness trials, sample sizing, survival analysis, frailty and missing data methods.

Research Details

Applied Research

  • I lead the design and analysis of all of our national and international cancer clinical trials (over 25) and provide key input into all grant applications.
  • My collaborative research with other clinicians/ scientists also includes laboratory studies and epidemiological studies.

Methodological Research

  • Calculation of smaller sample sizes for phase II cancer clinical trial and also the calculation of sample size for cost-effectiveness trials.
  • A short film about my research can be viewed here.
My specific research interests include:
  • Design and analysis of cancer clinical trials
  • Psychological effects of cancer and quality of life
  • Measurement scales
  • Pharmaco-economics: Sample size for cost-effectiveness trials
  • Medical Statistics: Sample sizing and missing data methods.
  • Survival analysis: Parametric (Weibull) frailty models and tests for frailty
  • Epidemiology: Cancer and Stroke
  • Pedagogical research: Teaching Biostatistics

Teaching

Statistics is a crucial part of research. Traditionally, it is taught using mathematical derivations and formulae; which drives away students’ enthusiasm and interest, especially those with non-mathematical backgrounds.

Teaching Statistics to distance learning students presents another challenge. To address these issues, I adopt a totally non-mathematical approach focusing on concepts rather than formulae and successfully use digital innovation for on-campus and distance-learning students.

I strive to provide research-led, data-driven interactive teaching to non-statistics students via enhanced communication and feedback, and set assessment for critical thinking.

My major teaching load is at the post-graduate level: MSc in Cancer TherapeuticsCancer & Molecular Pathology and GenomicsCancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cancer & Clinical Oncology, Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology and Surgical Skills and Sciences.


Research Group

Dr Stella Maris Fabiane – Biostatistician

Mr Saiam Ahmed – Junior Biostatistician

Mr Krishna Bottla - Database Programmer

Profile

I hold a PhD in Statistics (2002) from the University of Surrey and an MSc in Epidemiology (1998) from the Erasmus University Rotterdam jointly with the University of Cambridge, UK. I obtained my BSc (Hons) and MSc in Statistics (1995) from the Department of Statistics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh securing 1st class (3rd best in the batch). In 2012, I also obtained a university teaching qualification "Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)" with Distinction from the University of London.

Prior to undertaking my PhD, I worked as a Lecturer and then Assistant Professor of Statistics at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh. At the final year of my PhD, I was appointed as a Research Fellow in Pharmaco-Economics at the Medical and Pharmaceutical Statistics Research Unit, University of Reading (2002-2004) and then I moved to work on Epidemiology of Stroke at the Department of Public Health Sciences, King's College London (2005-2008). I moved to the Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, Queen Mary University of London in 2009.

As a recognition of my teaching, recently I have been nominated in the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching category of the Times Higher Education Award 2016.

Funding

My current ongoing trials have secured £20m+ grant funding, including significant commercial. My role as sole/lead statistician is central to the success of such grants.

I also contribute to securing/increasing grant funding at the institute level through the statistical consultancy service that have provided to BCI researchers (including 101 PhD/MD students) since 2011. My key contributions to study design, sample size estimation and analysis plans have led to ~ £4m in grant income.

Key Publications

Powles T, Huddart RA, Elliott PA, Sarker S-J, Ackerman C, Jones R, Hussain S, Crabb S, Chester J, Jagdev S, Beresford M, Hilman S, Macdonald G, Santhanam S, Frew J, Stockdale A, Hughes S, Berney D, and Chowdhury S. A phase II/III, double-blind, randomized trial comparing maintenance lapatinib versus placebo after first line chemotherapy in HER1/2 positive metastatic bladder cancer patients. Accepted in J Clin Oncol.

Schmid P, Pinder S., Wheatley, D, Macaskill J, Zammit C, Hu J, Price R., Bundred, N, Hadad S, Shia A, Sarker S-J, Lim L, Gazinska P, Woodman N, Korbie D, Trau M, Mainwaring P, Gendreau S, Lackner M, Derynck M, Wilson T, Butler H, Earl G, Parker P, Purushotham A. and Thompson A. Phase II randomized preoperative window of opportunity study of the PI3K inhibitor Pictilisib plus Anastrozole compared with Anastrozole alone in patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2016, 34 (17), 1987-1994. PMID: 269764263

Sarker S-J, Whitehead, A and Khan I. A C++ program to calculate sample sizes for cost-effectiveness trials in a Bayesian framework. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine 2013 June; 110(3): 471-89. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2013.01.008. Epub 2013 Feb 8. PMID: 23399102

Khan I, Sarker S-J and Hackshaw A. Smaller sample sizes for phase II trials based on exact tests with actual error rates by trading-off their nominal levels of significance and power. Brit J Cancer. 2012, 107, 1801–1809. PMID: 931809


Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.


My biostatistical research focuses on design, implementation and analysis of cancer clinical trials, cost-effectiveness trials, sample sizing, survival analysis, frailty modelling and missing data methods.

My main research interests are in statistical research including design, conduct and analysis of cancer clinical trials, cost-effectiveness trials, sample sizing, survival analysis, frailty and missing data methods.

External Activities

  • Invited National Trial Committee (IDMC and TSE) Statistician: UCL, KCL and Imperial College London.
  • Member of the London-East Research Ethics Committee (REC), UK.
  • Treasurer of the Association of Statistics Lecturers in Universities (ASLU), UK.
  • Member of the Barts Cancer CAU Research Governance Committee, QMUL.
  • Statistical reviewer for the NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
  • External Examiner (2013-2015): PhD and MRes programs in Statistics (University of Kingston).

News

  • September 2016: Finalist in the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching category of the Times Higher Education Awards 2016 (awaiting outcome).
  • February 2016: Winner of Teaching Award in the category of “Innovative Teaching” voted by the QMUL students.
  • July 2015: Winner for the presentation challenge competition, Burwalls conference (Annual meeting for Teachers of Medical Statistics) [King’s College London].
  • March 2015: Winner of Teaching Award in the category of “Technology Enhanced Learning” voted by the QMUL students.
  • September 2013: First prize winner for the teaching slides competition, Burwalls conference [University of Oxford].

Invited Lectures

  • March 2016 “Biostatistics for Health Researchers: What, Why and How?” Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire.



See other researchers working on:

Clinical Trials
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