Dr. Gamst serves as a biostatistics and bioinformatics consultant to a variety of projects throughout the School of Medicine, in both applied and theoretical statistics. He has worked extensively on problems in neuroimaging and computation. His research focuses on problems in nonparametric and semi-parametric regression and resampling.
Biostatistics is an integral component of large-scale research investigations, and Dr. Gamst provides highly sophisticated support to faculty members and key programs in the Department of Neurosciences. One major program is the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), a federally funded cooperative agreement, where Dr. Gamst provides expertise and infrastructure in support of large-scale, multi-center clinical trials of AD drugs and assessment instruments. He has reviewed more than 100 plans and reports on ADCS analyses and has developed software for random effects modeling of longitudinal data for use in a variety of AD research projects.
Dr. Gamst played a leading role in data analysis for the flagship Mild Cognitive Impairment study. In this capacity, he worked closely with the members of the Executive Committee and Data and Safety Monitoring Board on all facets of the analytic plan and offered invaluable assistance in the preparation of the final report. He also made a vital contribution to the successful renewal application for the program project Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases in Micronesia (D. Galasko, PI), enabling continuation of the study of neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson-Dementia Complex, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and late-life dementia) on Guam. For that grant application, he wrote the methods sections on risk factor analyses, missing data methods, birth-cohort effects, and general statistics.
Dr. Gamst enjoys a productive collaboration with Ronald J. Ellis, MD, PhD, in the area of NeuroAIDS. Their work together resulted in a frequently cited paper in Neurology in which Dr. Gamst demonstrated statistically that the central nervous system (CNS) and plasma compartments contribute separately to viral load in cerebrospinal fluid. This paper is among the most recognized journal articles on HIV infection in the CNS.
The Departments of Neurology and Radiology have together created the Neuroimaging Group. The cadre of eminent scholars recruited to date for this initiative ensures that the Group will be highly influential at both the national and international levels. Dr. Gamst is contributing to this effort and has developed new statistical methods for functional MRI (fMRI) studies. His reputation in fMRI statistics is gaining national prominence within the fMRI community.
Dr. Gamst has published papers with many Neurosciences faculty, including Leon J. Thal, Douglas R. Galasko, David P. Salmon, Ronald J. Ellis, and Jody Corey-Bloom. His editorial activities include service as a reviewer for such well-regarded journals as the Annals of Neurology, Archives of Neurology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Gamst's teaching activities include formal lectures on epidemiology and clinical trials as well as individual instruction to medical students as part of their independent study projects. The quality and clarity of his instruction are highly regarded by students.
Dr. Gamst’s primary research interest is in computational-theoretical and applied aspects of biostatistics. His theoretical research is focused on solving problems in non-parametric and semi-parametric regression, re-sampling techniques, risk estimation, statistical decision theory, and model selection. He has addressed problems regarding the regularity and admissibility of estimators in problems of increasing dimension in semi-parametric regression models. Some of this work was done while he was a visiting fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University earlier this year. Several of Dr. Gamst’s peer-reviewed publications are related to the development and refinement of statistical theory and methods underlying regression models.
Dr. Gamst’s applied research is wide-ranging and includes statistical consultation on a number of multi-site, multi-national research programs (and their ancillary projects) in the Departments of Neurosciences and Psychiatry.
Among these programs are the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN), the CNS HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) project, and the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC).
He also is engaged in the design of information systems and the development of data integration techniques for these and related projects. Dr. Gamst has a particular research interest in brain image analysis with projects related to multi-modal image registration, segmentation, and texture and shape analysis. On many of these projects, Dr. Gamst is the sole or primary biostatistician and has made critical contributions to the success of the research.
The research has resulted in a number of important findings such as the identification of clinical and imaging measures that predict conversion from a state of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease dementia, the adverse impact of stress on memory in older adults, environmental risk factors for the Guam Parkinson-dementia complex, and imaging methods to detect and stage hepatic tumors.
Dr. Gamst has authored or co-authored 18 research articles (published or in press) and 4 technical reports or review articles. The quality of this research is excellent and it has appeared in respected, peer-reviewed journals such as Neurology, Neurobiology of Aging, and Biological Psychiatry.
Further testimony to the excellence of his research is his growing national and international reputation as indicated by his selection as a fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute, his role as a scientific advisor to the European NeuGrid computing project, and his role as a grant reviewer for the National Institute on Aging (NIA). He is co-investigator on a number of major federally-funded research grants including two P30 projects, two U01 projects, one N01 project, one R24 project and two R01 projects.