R/Pharma logo

August 21, 22, and 23, 2019, Harvard University, Cambridge


The second annual R/Pharma conference will take place August 21, 22, and 23, 2019 at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Based on feedback, we have devoted a 3rd day to the conference agenda focused completely on R/Pharma workshops for attendees. More info will be available soon.

By design, R / Pharma is deliberately a smaller conference in terms of attendance in order to encourage maximum opportunities for direct interaction with speakers. The location will be the Center for Government and International Studies in the Tsai Auditorium at Harvard University and capped at 150 attendees. As of now, we are planning to make the gathering a free event. We plan to provide invitations firstly based on committee membership and advisory support, speaker acceptance, academic/student and diversity attendance. We are still determining the best path for opening general attendance and please check the website for updates that will be posted soon.

Our entire event is a community-lead effort and 100% volunteer run. The event is vendor neutral and very much an academic conference. Harvard has been very helpful in hosting the event.

R/Pharma is an ISC working group (www.r-consortium.org/projects/isc-working-groups) under the R Consortium. The conference is envisioned as a relatively small, scientifically & industry oriented, collegial event focused on the use of R in the development of pharmaceuticals. The conference will cover topics including reproducible research, regulatory compliance and validation, safety monitoring, clinical trials, drug discovery, research & development, PK/PD/pharmacometrics, genomics, diagnostics, immunogenicity and more. All will be discussed within the context of using R as a primary tool within the drug development process. The conference will showcase the current use of R that is helping to drive biomedical research, drug discovery & development, and clinical initiatives. (Note that topics related to the use of R in hospitals/clinics for patient care by clinicians, doctors, and researchers will likely be the focus of the upcoming R/Medicine conference.)

The conference will be a single track conference consisting of keynotes from renowned industry practitioners to key R developers to leading academics, pre-conference workshops and full-length presentations as well as a number of shorter, highly-energetic lightning talks.

R/Pharma is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability or any feature that distinguishes human beings. For more information, please see the R Consortium code of conduct.

2019 Organising Committee

The organising committee focuses on the logistics of running this conference. The content of this conference is shaped by dozens of Pharma industry colleagues in a community effort, led by John Sims and Bella Feng.

Harvey Lieberman Sanofi
Phil Bowsher RStudio
James Black Roche/Genentech
Edward Lauzier Merck
Elena Rantou FDA
Melvin Munsaka AbbVie
Eric Nantz Eli Lilly
Paul Schuette FDA
Michael Blanks Beigene
Min Lee Amgen
Reinhold Koch Roche/Genentech
Elizabeth Hess IQSS Harvard University
John Sims Pfizer (& Program Committee link)
Bella Fang Amgen (& Program Committee link)
Michael Lawrence Roche/Genentech (& R Foundation link)

2018 Keynotes

Last years keynote speakers below. The program is also available at http://rinpharma.com/program/

  • RStudio

    Max Kuhn Modeling in the tidyverse

    RStudio Twitter

    The tidyverse (tidyverse.org) is an opinionated collection of R packages designed for data science. All packages share an underlying design philosophy, grammar, and data structures. The packages primarily consist of tools for data ingest, manipulation, and visualization. In the last year or so, Rstudio and others have been creating a set of packages focused on the modeling process. In this talk, we will introduce the tidyverse and illustrate these new tools whose goals are to: simplify the modeling process, encourage empirical validation and good methodology, and to enable a wider variety of approaches.

  • FDA

    Lilliam Rosario Modernizing the new drug regulatory program in FDA/CDER

    FDA Bio

    Lilliam will be presenting a perspective on what the office of computational science is doing to support regulatory review for safety assessments. She will explore the concept of collaborations and sharing to support process and transparency, along with a perspective with the use of R.

  • Roche/Genentech

    Michael Lawrence Enabling open-source analytics in the enterprise

    Roche/Genentech Twitter

    The open-source analytics community is driving innovation in precompetitive spaces like statistical methodology, reproducibility approaches, visualization techniques, and scaling strategies. The diverse and rapidly evolving ecosystem of open-source tools and standards stands in contrast with the disposition of the enterprise towards stability, standardization, and reliability. This talk will present the policies and frameworks we have developed at Genentech to enable internal scientists to responsibly leverage open-source tools and to participate in the community process through their own contributions.

  • RStudio

    Joe Cheng Using interactivity responsibly in pharma

    RStudio Twitter

    Shiny is a package for turning analyses written in R into interactive web applications. This capability has obvious applications in pharma, as it lets R users build interactive apps for their collaborators to explore models or results, or to automate workflows. However, the interactivity of Shiny apps is a double-edged sword, as it introduces challenges to the traceability and reproducibility of your analysis. To use interactive applications in pharma responsibly, these challenges must be addressed. In this talk, I'll look at some of the tools and techniques you can use in Shiny to deal with these challenges head-on.

Call for papers

The R / Pharma program committee is excited to announce the call for papers for the second R / Pharma Conference to be held on August 21st - 23rd at Harvard University. R/Pharma is a relatively small, collegial event, that attracts the leading researchers and practitioners who are advancing the use of R for drug development in the pharmaceutical industry.

We invite you to submit an abstract via the form below for either a twenty minute talk, or ten minute, lightning talk. Both academic and practitioner proposals related to R are encouraged. Applicable topics include reproducible research, regulatory compliance and validation, safety monitoring, clinical trials, drug discovery, research & development, PK/PD/pharmacometrics, genomics, diagnostics, immunogenicity and other topics relating to the use of R in drug development.

Please submit proposals online using the button below. Submissions will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. Submitters will be notified of acceptance and presentation length via email.


Harvard University, CGIS South, Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, USA. Cambridge, MA


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