Biostatistics Shared Service

Director: Søren M. Bentzen, MSc, PhD, DMSc

Mission

The mission of the Biostatistics Shared Service (BSS) is to foster and facilitate excellence in UM Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center quantitative preclinical and clinical cancer research by providing in-depth knowledge of and access to state-of-the-art biostatistics and bioinformatics methods. The BSS is critical to the wider mission of UMGCCC, particularly in relation to clinical or population research but also increasingly to basic and preclinical research. 

BSS statisticians are key participants in a wide range of collaborative activities of the Cancer Center, participating in Cancer Center pilot projects, providing assistance to UMGCCC investigators in conceptualizing and developing research projects, advising on study design and data collection, performing state-of-the-art data analyses for publication, and contributing to the interpretation and reporting of study outcomes. Whenever relevant, the BSS develops and implements methods that are directly related to the support of specific UMGCCC projects. BSS faculty are encouraged and provided support to pursue project-specific funding for independent, investigator-initiated research in statistical methodology. Also, a major source of extramural salary support is time-and-effort allocation as a coinvestigator on funded research projects, many of them in cancer research. Finally, an important part of the BSS mission is to contribute to the training of UMGCCC scientists and medical residents in quantitative biomedical research methodology through formal teaching, mentoring, and intramural seminars.

Impact to the Cancer Center

Quantitative cancer research is a team effort, requiring the expertise and skills of collaborators from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Biostatisticians bring to the team a strong foundation in statistics, mathematics, and computational methods, augmented by knowledge of the medical science of oncology as well as familiarity with the biomedical concepts and terminology of preclinical and clinical cancer research. Biostatistics/bioinformatics personnel collectively possess the broad training and experience in biostatistics and bioinformatics required to support UMGCCC’s research programs, from lab research to clinical trials to population health science, as documented by our proven record of successful and productive interactions with investigators and projects.

Specific Aims

1. To function as a critical resource to UMGCCC investigators by contributing biostatistical and clinical trials expertise to cancer research projects as collaborators or coinvestigators
2. To provide expertise in statistical bioinformatics and the analysis of high-dimensionality “big data,” including systems biology, gene regulatory network inference, biomarker discovery, network biology, personalized medicine, and data mining
3. To provide an integral component of the UMGCCC clinical research governance and protocol review system
4. To offer educational resources, consultation, and training opportunities to UMGCCC members and trainees in order to enhance their ability to integrate biostatistical methodologies more effectively into their research programs

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