Newsletter November 2021

newsletter november


In this newsletter:

  • The OCS Life Sciences traineeship 2021
  • PHUSE EU Connect 2021
  • Programming SAS Tips & Tricks
  • Relationships (Part 2)
  • Meet Mitchikou Tseng

The OCS Life Sciences Traineeship 2021

2021 has been a great year in terms of the OCS Life Sciences traineeship. We’ve had a total of 5 candidates. Luis Boullosa and Lyanne den Braven completed their traineeship in July. Ramon Jakobs started his in September and is close to the finish line. They share their experiences here. Candidates Pascale Rietveld and Kimberley Santing have started their traineeship in late October and expect to finish just before Christmas.

“After graduating in May, I started the OCS Life Sciences Traineeship in September. Learning SAS and puzzling with data is something I enjoy a lot. In my first month, I learned the basics of SAS through e-learning and this was tested through an official exam, which I passed with a nice score! After the exam, I was introduced to CDISC and the first exercise, which was: here you have 5 raw, dirty datasets and you must deliver a SDTM compliant dataset, good luck! I was really thrown in at the deep end, which is great fun and you learn so much from that. But above all, all my colleagues are super helpful and nice, and there is a great atmosphere, which makes coming to the office really something to look forward to!”

Luis and Lyanne:
“Since the first day we joined OCS we felt welcome. We feel like we have joined a group of people who care about the people first, and by caring for the people, the work shines. Starting our first client project for OCS Life Sciences was new, exciting, and challenging. We looked for a balance between learning to find our own solutions and asking support and experience from our colleagues. It is always a pleasure learning from them and using that knowledge for this and future projects.”

PHUSE EU Connect 2021

PHUSE EU Connect 2021

PHUSE EU Connect 2021 will take place next week. This annual event, that would traditionally take place in a different European city each year, offers its attendees 7 hands-on workshops, 2 keynote speeches, and nearly 120 virtual presentations across 19 streams . Due to the virtual character of the event, presentations are available on-demand. While everyone at OCS is definitely looking forward to being able to attend conferences in person again, having access to such a huge digital archive of valuable content is certainly a significant benefit, and definitely something that we hope to keep even once COVID-19 is history.

Speaking of attending conferences in person… the first steps are in the works as this PHUSE EU Connect will be a hybrid event. Melanie Schopp and Jules van der Zalm of OCS Life Sciences will head to London to attend the first two days of PHUSE EU Connect 2021 in a limited live audience at the O2 InterContinental London. We’re looking forward to meeting our friends again in person!

Colleagues of OCS have prepared their presentations. Full abstracts are available from our website, but these are the authors and titles:

  • Caro SluijterAutomation of Process Flow Instances
  • Louella SchoemacherUtilising LSAF for data management at a Belgian biotech
  • Martin DoughtyMoving your SCE to the cloud, focusing on Qualification and Validation
  • Richard PatersonSAS Coding Efficiency: Developing a Performance Mindset
  • Ruurd BenninkDifferences in performance between the options KEEP and WHERE as compared to the statements KEEP and IF in SAS data steps
  • Stephan van Driel Using jobs and API macros to create a structured, controlled and personalised LSAF environment
If you have any questions – or if you don’t want to wait until the conference – please don’t hesitate to contact one of our consultants during the conference or schedule a (virtual) meeting with us.

SAS Tips & Tricks

By Louella Schoemacher

When creating an Excel report with one sheet per subject, the number of sheets in your file might become quite extensive. In order to prevent scrolling through all sheets to find the subject you are looking for, you might want to create a table of content as a first sheet with the subject numbers hyperlinking to the correct sheet in just one click.

Within the ExcelXP tagset option you can automatically generate hyperlinks to worksheets in the current workbook, by adding the INDEX and URL options like below. The INDEX option creates a worksheet that will contain an index of worksheets. The URL = “ “ suboption, with two embedded spaces, generates a relative path to the actual worksheet enabling you to quickly find the subject you are searching for. Do note: it is pertinent that you write two spaces in the URL = “ “ suboption. This is due to a known issue that is described in SAS Knowledge Base Problem Note 45107.
Programming tips

Relationships (Part 2)

By Mariska Burger

In the previous newsletter, we explored the relationship between variable Y and variable X and discussed simple correlation and how to calculate the simple Pearson and simple Spearman correlation coefficient.

But, what if you are tasked to explore the relationship between variable Y and variable X while controlling for other variable(s) (e.g. variable Z)? Then we need to calculate partial correlation coefficients.

Let’s recap what partial correlation is:
Partial correlation describes the relationship between variable Y and variable X
when controlling for effects of variable Z in this relationship. It explains how much 
of the variability of variable Y can be explained by the variable X after removing the variability already explained by controlling variable Z.

Meet Mitch v3.0

My name is Mitchikou Tseng and I am a statistical programmer at OCS Life Sciences. I gained my Bachelor's degree in Statistics from the University of the Philippines in 2015. After graduation, I worked as a Programmer Analyst in PPD Manila for almost 6 years, mainly assigned on Phase 2/3 trials SDTM-ADaM-TLF programming.

Early this year, OCS Life Sciences provided me with an opportunity to work as a statistical programmer here in the Netherlands and I did not hesitate to accept the offer as I believed that working with OCS will push me to conquer new horizons and expand my statistical programming capabilities. Currently, I am assigned as a clinical programmer at a client of OCS Life Sciences which is a CRO that focuses on Phase 1 trials. I am loving my current work, feeling challenged at the same time, as I am learning the specifics of early development stage trials with respect to ADaM and TLF programming.

 My first few months in this new environment have been very pleasant thanks to my very welcoming and approachable OCS coworkers. I am looking forward to working with other colleagues and upskilling more in my future assignments.
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