University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Symposium on Role of Statistics in Cancer Immunotherapy

Symposium Header Image

Friday, May 1, 2020
8:00 am - 7:00 pm

UCSF Mission Bay Campus
Byers Hall Auditorium
Genentech Hall, 600 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94158

Overview | Agenda | Registration | Poster Session



This symposium will focus on two major aspects: (1) novel clinical trial design and advanced quantitative models during the development of cancer immunotherapy, and (2) computational algorithms and data integration techniques that are under active development to solve the challenges raised in cutting edge high throughput sequencing being applied to cancer immunology and immuno-oncology research and clinical applications. In addition, a panel discussion on immuno-oncology and personalized medicine will explore the most impactful trends shaping cancer research.

This event will include an evening poster session and reception. All attendees are welcome to register a poster, and we particularly encourage junior researchers to participate.


8:15 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast (Atrium)

8:45 am


Eric Small, MD, FASCO
Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer
Program Leader, Prostate Cancer Program
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Overview of Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 

9:00 am

KEYNOTE: Biomarkers and regulators of tumor immunotherapy response

Shirley Liu, PhD
Co-director, Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Session 1: Clinical Study Design and Novel Quantitative Methodology (Chair: Ron Yu, PhD, Gilead)

10:00 am

KEYNOTE: Novel Bayesian Adaptive Trial Designs to Accelerate Development of Immunotherapy

Ying Yuan, PhD, FRSC
Deputy Chair of Department of Biostatistics
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

11:00 am


11:15 am

Estimating and Interpreting Treatment Effect in Oncology Immune Therapies

Susan Halabi, PhD
Chief, Division of Biostatistics, Dept. of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics
School of Medicine, Duke University

11:45 am

Design, monitoring and analysis of randomized clinical trials based on the restricted mean survival time

Bo Huang, PhD
Statistics Group Lead, Pfizer

12:15 pm

Lunch (Sponsors' Presentation)

Session 2: Cutting-edge Technologies and Advancements in Computational Approaches (Chair: Tao He, PhD, SFSU)

1:15 pm

KEYNOTE: Mechanisms of Response and Resistance to Cancer Immunotherapy

Lawrence Fong, MD
Efim Guzik Distinguished Professor in Cancer Biology
Leader, Cancer Immunotherapy Program
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

2:15 pm

Understanding immune responses to cancer from single-cell data

Matthew H. Spitzer, PhD
Werbe Assistant Professor
Depts. of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery & Microbiology and Immunology, UCSF

2:45 pm

Leveraging Multi-Omics Data To Better Understand Cancer

Marina Sirota, PhD
Associate Professor
Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute, UCSF

3:15 pm


Panel Discussion: Enhanced Personalized Immunotherapy (Chair: Ray Lin, PhD, Genentech)

3:45 pm

A practical design approach to Phase III trials in immuno-oncology

Keaven Anderson, PhD
Scientific AVP
Biostatistics Merck & Co, Inc.

Beyond personalized: individualized neoepitope-specific immunotherapies

Ina Rhee, MD, PhD
Group Medical Director
Oncology Early Clinical Development, Genentech

Dose Selection for Cancer Immunotherapy

Yaning Wang, PhD
Division of Pharmacometrics, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Office of Translational Sciences, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration

Using social network analysis to explore immune-memory

Li Zhang, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

5:45 pm

Closing Comments

Evening Activities

6:00 pm

Poster Session | Wine & Cheese Reception

7:00 pm



**Please register to attend by April 27, 2020**

Advance registration is required.

Poster Session

**Please register to present a poster by Monday, April 20, 2020 at 9:00 am**

The intent of the poster session is to generate interest in current projects and facilitate communications among attendees. Posters may have been presented previously at other meetings.

The topics of the poster should be within cancer immunotherapy, including but not limited to the following areas:

  • Clinical trial design and related data analysis
  • Detection and prediction of biomarkers
  • High-throughput data analysis

Size and Display Guidelines

  • Posters must be preregistered.
  • Posters board stands will be available well before the poster session begins. Event participants may display their work as soon as the boards are labeled with designated poster numbers, and posters must be installed prior to the 12:30pm lunch start time.
  • Posters should fit in a 4' x 4' area (for example, 48" x 36" horizontal/landscape or 48" x 48" square or smaller).
  • Posters should be affixed with pushpins (provided) on the assigned, freestanding poster frame. Use lightweight materials that will affix easily with pushpins. Include the title and authors at the top of the posters in 1-inch-high letters. Keep illustrated material simple and make posters as self-explanatory as possible.
  • Detailed directions for setting up posters on event day (May 1st) will be provided at a later date by email to all registered poster contacts.
  • You will be required to submit an abstract of 350 words or less.


Byers Hall Auditorium is located in Genentech Hall at 600 16th Street, San Francisco CA 94158. View a map of the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Attendees will make their own transportation decisions and cover their own transportation costs.  

UCSF Shuttles

Mission Bay can be reached by a wide array of UCSF shuttles. Please visit UCSF Campus Life Services Transportation for maps, timetables, and other information.

Public Transit

MUNI: The conference center is accessible via the T-third Street Muni Metro. Exit at the "UCSF Mission Bay" stop on 3rd street opposite the campus. For muni information, visit or SFMTA.

BART with transfer to UCSF shuttle: Disembark at the 16th street Mission BART station, and connect to the UCSF Red Shuttle on the northeast corner of the intersection (see map). The shuttle runs frequently between 16th Street BART and the UCSF Mission Bay 4th Street shuttle stop. For more information, visit Bay Area Rapid Transit and UCSF Campus Life Services Transportation.

BART or Caltrain with transfer to Mission Bay Shuttle: Disembark at the Civic Center BART, Powell St. BART, Embarcadero BART, or Transbay Terminal, and connect to the Mission Bay Shuttle. Please visit the Mission Bay Transportation Management Association website for more information.

Driving and Parking

We suggest you use a driving app to determine the best possible route. You can also download driving directions here.

The closest UCSF parking lot is the UCSF Community Center Garage, at Rutter Center located at 1625 Owens Street, San Francisco, CA 94143. For current pricing or permit questions please contact UCSF Transportation.


For general event questions, please contact:
Geraldine Pacheco,

For questions related to session topics and sponsorship, please contact:
Li Zhang, PhD,

Planning Committee

  • Li Zhang, PhD (Chair), Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
  • Jing Huang, PhD, SVP of Bioinformatics & Data Science, Veracyte, Inc.
  • Ray Lin, PhD, Principal Statistical Scientist, Department of Biostatistics, Genentech/Roche
  • Timothy Looney, PhD, Associate Director, Bioinformatics at Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Ron Yu, PhD, Senior Director, Biostatistics at Gilead Sciences
  • Tao He, PhD, Assistant Professor of Statistics, Department of Mathematics, San Francisco State University

Scientific Advisors

  • Mi-OK Kim, PhD, Director, Biostatistics Core, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; Professor in Residence, Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF
  • Lawrence Fong, MD, PhD, Efim Guzik Distinguished Professor in Cancer Biology; Leader, Cancer Immunotherapy Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center 

Event Sponsors

**This retreat is supported by the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Biostatistics Shared Resource; Thermo Fisher Scientific; San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Statistical Association; and DahShu**