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Application of ggplot2 to Pharmacometric Graphics: An ACOP 2013 Tutorial


The ggplot2 package was created by Hadley Wickham, and it is named after the phrase "Grammar of Graphics" which is a system of describing and organizing the fundamental components of a graph and the process of creating a graph. The ggplot package is able to create publication-quality statistical graphics in seconds, in an efficient, elegant and systematic manner.

In 2013, Ito and Murphy published an online tutorial in CPT:PSP that describes the use of ggplot specifically for pharmacometrics. It is available at the link below.

The ggplot training material presented in the tutorial here are an extension of that CPT:PSP tutorial and were developed by Dr. Kaori Ito specifically for the the Wednesday tutorial session at ACoP 2013.


This course is most suitable for individuals with some previous experience using R.

Tutorial Outline

The Tutorial covers all aspects from loading of the package, the basic grammar of ggplot, basic plot types, controlling legends and titles, all the way through to multi-plot layouts on a page.

Tutorial Files Supplied

A step-by-step pdf booklet, all control streams, and datasets required to complete this tutorial are supplied as a zip file in the link below. (2.6 MB)

About the Instructor

Kaori Ito ( @Kaori_Ito ) received her MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo and her PhD from Kyusyu University in Japan. She started her career in the pharmaceutical industry in Japan with Eisai Co Ltd, and joined Pfizer Japan in 1998 as a clinical pharmacologist. She moved to Pfizer USA (Groton, CT) in 2005. She has been working as a pharmacometrician for 10 years since she moved to USA.

Her research interests focus on applied PKPD modeling and disease progression modeling. She has been leading efforts in developing model-based meta-analysis and knowledge management in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) since 2007, working with cross-functional teams for various compounds, and currently serves as a DA-PoC (disease area point of contact) for AD pharmacometrician at Pfizer. Her work is extended to collaboration with CAMD (Coalition Against Major Diseases), serving as one of the major contributors to the M&S working group. At Pfizer, Dr. Ito also serves as a mentor for her colleagues, including both summer interns and post-doc, as well as providing R (programming) training internally and externally.