Department of Public Health Sciences
Faculty members in the Biostatistics Division have expertise in areas including categorical, longitudinal, multivariate, survival, recurrent events, multiple outcomes and Bayesian biostatistical methods. They direct and are involved in various clinical trials and health related studies and develop innovative methods for efficient and informative data analysis via incorporating available scientific knowledge from the biological and clinical area of the application. Our experienced team of biostatistics faculty members are collaborators with basic scientists and health services and clinical researchers regarding the design, feasibility and scope of a study, the appropriate tools for data analysis, the correct methods of data collection and archiving, and the reporting and interpretation of the results of a study. Their clinical areas of interest and fields of application include diverse clinical subjects as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, AIDS, aging and Alzheimer’s disease, oral health, neurology and mental health.
Biostatistics is the science of collecting, analyzing and interpreting biologic data in order to advance scientific knowledge. In the domain of Public Health, Biostatistics is focused on biomedical data and its collection, analysis, and interpretation. The mission of the Division of Biostatistics, in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is to train skilled Biostatisticians, to develop novel Biostatistical methods and theory, to implement Biostatistical methods in practice and to advance proper usage of Biostatistical methods by the medical research community with a goal of advancing human health through the knowledge gained from these processes.
Teaching and the Graduate Program
The DPHS provides innovative interdisciplinary training in analytical and mathematical sciences germane to biology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, health care, and environmental sciences. Collaboration with other departments offers a wealth of opportunities for students to acquire experience and expertise in the application of analytic methodology and theory to biomedical and clinical problems. Areas of particular emphasis in biostatistics are categorical data analysis, clinical trials, longitudinal data analysis, survival analysis, and spatial and Bayesian statistics. Applied areas of interest are varied and some of the major applications include cancer, dental medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and radiology. The DPHS offers MS and PhD degree in biostatistics.
Biostatistical research in the Department of Public Health Sciences focuses on a number of key areas. A primary focus is the development of methods for the design and analysis of clinical trials and in particular early stage trials and randomization strategies. There is also an emphasis on longitudinal analysis and missingness, as well as the analysis of spatial/geographical patterning of health data with applications in imaging, epidemiology and public health surveillance. Much methodology research is generated from collaborations both within MUSC and with other universities.
The Data Coordination Unit (DCU), housed within the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, specializes in the design of clinical trials and analysis of their data and in establishing, implementing and maintaining data and project management systems for multicenter clinical trials. The Unit is experienced with the design and conduct of Phase I through III trials in a variety of therapeutic areas including stroke, digestive diseases, diabetes, traumatic brain injury and psychiatry. The Unit offers DPHS students hands-on experience in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials and the opportunity to develop their dissertation work with real trial application. Current topics of research include optimal randomization methods, handling of missing data, analysis of non-inferiority trials, responder analysis and much more. We welcome DPHS students to be a part of our research team!
There are many opportunities for students to work on collaborative projects, interacting with researchers across a variety of disciplines at MUSC. Since our department is home to the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Center’s Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Program, translational research investigators often seek out advice and guidance from our faculty on issues such as study design, sample size justification, and analytical plans. In addition, our department’s Collaborative Unit, a university research resource facility, links MUSC investigators with our faculty members for the purposes of grant development. Interactions with researchers through these mechanisms provide a great introduction to team science, which is vital to addressing the complex problems facing today’s biomedical researchers.
Illustrating Biostatistical Research video: Etiologic and Spatial Associations Between HPV-Related Cancers