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
Paulo Bargo Janssen
Volha Tryputsen Janssen
Elizabeth Hess IQSS Harvard University
John Sims Pfizer (& Program Committee link)
Bella Fang Amgen (& Program Committee link)
Michael Lawrence Roche/Genentech (& R Foundation link)


  • Garrett Grolemund

    Garrett Grolemund Reproducibility and the role of code in reproducible data science

    RStudio Github

    Garrett Grolemund is the co-author of R for Data Science and R Markdown: The Definitive Guide, as well as the author of Hands-On Programming with R. He wrote the lubridate R package and works for RStudio as both an educator and advocate of data science with R.

  • Paul Schuette

    Paul Schuette Simulations, and Complex Innovative Trial Designs

    FDA Blog on R use at the FDA

    Scientific Computing Coordinator for the Office of Biostatistics. Paul serves as subject matter expert for Scientific and Statistical Computing, manages scientific workstations, acquisition and deployment of software, and with additional projects dealing with statistical methodology appropriate for pregnancy registries and clinical trials.

  • Marianna Foos

    Marianna Foos Title TBD

    Biogen Blog

    Scientific developer specializing in removing roadblocks to data access, with diverse experience independently moving projects forward with a focus on implementation details. Enthusiastic about empowering downstream analysis consumers with training, support and documentation.

  • Aedin Culhane

    Aedin Culhane Title TBD

    Harvard Lab website

    Computational Biologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institue, Harvard School of Public Health. Her lab maintains ~6 Bioconductor packages.


  • Joe Cheng

    Joe Cheng Shiny Reproducibility

    RStudio Github

    Joe is the Chief Technology Officer and Shiny team leader at RStudio.

  • Max Kuhn

    Max Kuhn Machine Learning

    RStudio Github

    Max is a Software Engineer at RStudio. He is the author or maintainer of several R packages for predictive modeling including caret, AppliedPredictiveModeling, Cubist, C50 and SparseLDA. He routinely teaches classes in predictive modeling at Predictive Analytics World and UseR! and his publications include work on neuroscience biomarkers, drug discovery, molecular diagnostics and response surface methodology.

  • Carson Sievert

    Carson Sievert Plotly

    Sievert Consulting LLC Website

    Carson is a freelance data scientist, well known as the maintainer of the plotly R package on CRAN.

  • Leon Eyrich Jessen

    Leon Eyrich Jessen Artificial neural networks in R with Keras and TensorFlow

    Technical University of Denmark Github

    Leon is an Assistant Professor in the Immunoinformatics and Machine Learning Group (Morten Nielsen Lab) at the Section for Bioinformatics at Technical University of Denmark. I apply advanced machine learning methods to model molecular interactions in the human immune system.

  • Andy Nicholls

    Andy Nicholls R Validation Hub (past, current and future state)

    GSK R validation hub website

    The R-Consortium in June 2018 awarded funding to create an online repository for R package validation in accordance with regulatory standards. Since the main hurdle for widespread use of R in late phase trials is ensuring adequate validation documentation, we are now focused on designing a framework which will specify a set of requirements, including metadata and examples of tests, which together would form evidence of the quality of an R package.

  • Will Landau

    Will Landau Pipeline toolkit for reproducibility and high-performance computing

    Eli Lilly Drake website

    Data analysis can be slow. A round of scientific computation can take several minutes, hours, or even days to complete. After it finishes, if you update your code or data, your hard-earned results may no longer be valid. How much of that valuable output can you keep, and how much do you need to update? How much runtime must you endure all over again?


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


Please click an image below to view the program for R/Pharma conferences.


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