The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Biostatistics is housed in the School of Medicine and is committed to excellence in providing a graduate training program, conducting multidisciplinary collaborative biomedical research and developing new statistical methods.
The department includes 21 full-time faculty members who have expertise in data management; analysis of high-throughput genomic, proteomic and metabolomic data; methodologies for designing studies of mixtures of drugs or chemicals; dose-finding and adaptive designs for Phase I studies; and linear and nonlinear modeling of longitudinal data for epidemiological studies and clinical trials.
Strong ties exist between the Department of Biostatistics, the Massey Cancer Center, the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, and other departments and centers within the School of Medicine, as well as within the schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Professions. Several faculty members hold joint appointments in other departments or centers. Faculty members belong to multidisciplinary teams in many federally funded translational research projects across the university, including studies of genes related to hepatocellular carcinoma; chronic allograft nephropathy; traumatic brain injury model systems; sedation and ventilator effects in hospitalized patients; epigenomics of leukemias; lymphomas and blood stem cells; and childhood obesity and sexual maturation.
Faculty members teach classes and publish an average of two methodological publications per year in statistical or related journals and seven collaborative publications in a wide variety of biomedical journals. They also collaborate on an average of four new grant applications and four new grant awards per year. The faculty members are currently 66 percent externally funded through collaborative research on projects in other schools and departments at VCU. These collaborative research efforts stimulate the development of biostatistical methodology as our faculty members apply theoretical methods to the analysis of biomedical data. Faculty members also serve as reviewers and editors for many professional journals, serve on NIH study sections and participate in international multidisciplinary collaborative research.
The department offers M.S. and Ph.D. programs in biostatistics, M.S. and Ph.D. programs in genomics, and an M.S. in biostatistics with a concentration in clinical research and biostatistics. The majority of the graduate students are supported through collaborative projects and partnerships with industry. The department has a National Research Service Award pre-doctoral training program funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The purpose of this award is to train students to develop analytic methods for the study of chemical mixtures and analysis of toxicogenomic data. One faculty member also has a regular research grant funded in this area by the NIEHS.
The mission of the Department of Biostatistics is the improvement of human health through methodological research, the education of graduate students and health science researchers in biostatistical methods and applications, and collaborative health sciences research. We conduct methodological research motivated by collaborative alliances, which in turn contributes to and enhances our educational mission. By focusing on the integration of methodological and collaborative research, our students develop strong biostatistical and communication skills, enabling them to assume leadership positions in academia, government and industry.