Sentrana Research Team Announced as ALS Prediction Prize Winners

Sentrana research team received first prize in the DREAM-Phil Bowen ALS Prediction Prize4Life Challenge.

Washington, DC, November 18, 2012 --( Sentrana Inc. announced today that their quantitative modeling research team received first prize in the DREAM-Phil Bowen ALS Prediction Prize4Life Challenge. First prize was shared between the Sentrana research team, Principal Scientist Liuxia Wang, PhD, and Quantitative Modeler Guang “Eric” Li, and the Stanford University research team made up of Lester Mackey, PhD, and JD and Master’s Degree recipient Lilly Fang. Sentrana’s Wang and Li used their experience working with foodservice industry-specific models as a starting point to find a solution for this challenge.

The challenges and the lack of predictability of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) make the design of clinical trials to discover new treatments a long, costly and complex process. Breakthroughs in prediction pave the way for clinical trials and insights into new treatments. Viable solutions generated through contests such as the ALS Prediction Prize4Life improve the chances for progress in the field of ALS research.

Sentrana’s commitment to philanthropy led them to take on this challenge in order to explore the impact that their scientific approaches to model business processes and market responses can have when applied to other areas of research such as human health and disease propagation. Sentrana’s research team used the data available for the challenge to develop new variables that could be used to predict the progression of ALS. They then refined their “random forest” algorithm to produce more accurate predictive results. Random forest algorithms use a series of decision trees made from random samples of the data to increase accuracy. The need to creatively use data to define and isolate new or important variables is a practice that Sentrana uses to derive insights for their business clients, along with hybrid and random forest algorithms that are also used within Sentrana’s solutions.

“We were excited to take on this challenge because we wanted the opportunity to use our knowledge to give back to the world,” said Principal Scientist Liuxia Wang, PhD. “When we started this challenge we found that modeling approaches we had developed for our commercial clients were a solid intellectual starting point for the competition. We are very pleased that we were able to come up with a solution that may provide great benefits to the ALS research community.”

In addition to devoting their time to this competition, Sentrana is extending their commitment to ALS awareness by allocating a portion of the award to the A Life Story Foundation, a philanthropic organization established to spread of awareness about ALS and raise funds for research.

About Prize4Life

Prize4Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the discovery of treatments and a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) by using powerful incentives to attract new people and drive innovation. Prize4Life believes that solutions to some of the biggest challenges in ALS research will require out-of-the-box thinking, and that some of the most critical discoveries may come from unlikely places. Founded in 2006 by Avi Kremer, who was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 29, Prize4Life encourages and rewards creative approaches that will yield real results for ALS patients. For more information, visit

About Sentrana

Sentrana is a scientific marketing company. We help our clients make more informed and accurate decisions about pricing, promotions & advertising, product assortment, and sales force alignment with the data and capabilities they already possess. Our holistic demand optimization solutions integrate advanced predictive technology with the qualitative insights derived from human knowledge and experience. Sentrana’s SAP-certified MarketMover™ platform illuminates opportunities at the micromarket level of each customer and each product, enabling organizations to actively drive demand for their products and services. For more information, please visit
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