Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics shared resource provides high-quality and timely biostatistics and bioinformatics support to Penn State Cancer Institute members. Investigators collaborate in the full spectrum of cancer research, from basic science to translational research to clinical trials to cancer prevention.
- Design and analysis of clinical trials from Phase 1 to Phase 3
- Survival data analysis
- Longitudinal data, hierarchical models and mixed-effects regression
- Prediction models for cancer risk, treatment response and prognostics
- Statistical methods in personalized medicine
- Genomics data (RNA-seq, CHIP-seq, microarray, rRNA microbial classification) and statistical genetics
- Design and analysis of population and epidemiological studies
- Statistics methods in social and behavioral research
- Data organization and cleaning
- Serve as co-investigator on funded projects
- Collaborate with investigators in developing and submitting new research grants
- Work on unfunded projects of Penn State Cancer Institute members
- Support scientific review committee, data safety and monitoring committee and internal grants review
- Provide biostatistics and bioinformatics education
ServicesThe Biostatistics and Bioinformatics shared resource can help you:
- Choose the optimal design that answers research questions most efficiently and directly.
- Determine power and sample size.
- Select the most reliable and relevant endpoints and measurements for a particular study.
- Perform expert data analysis that fully utilizes the information in the data.
- Ensure data integrity and state-of-the-art data analysis practices.
- Ensure that study results are accurately and effectively communicated in manuscripts and scientific presentations.
- Work with cancer investigators on new grant applications.
- Provide input on design and analysis in brainstorming sessions with investigators to develop new research initiatives.
Free support is provided for developing and submitting new research grants, provided the biostatistician is included as a co-investigator, typically with 5 percent support for an R-01 grant with a substantial data management and analysis component.
For unfunded projects, each member or associate member of Penn State Cancer Institute is provided with 30 hours of free statistical support yearly, usually sufficient to get a small- to medium-sized dataset analyzed for publication.
In funded projects, service is provided in exchange for the biostatistician being listed as co-investigator.
Other fee details are available following an initial consultation.
Preparing Data for Analysis
Most unfunded datasets are presented to the biostatisticians in Excel format. To improve quality and efficiency, here are some general guidelines in preparing your dataset:
- Each row is generally a subject, and each column is a variable.
- Do not mix numerical values with text in a single column. Use a separate column if comment is needed for a variable.
- Input NA as the value when a measurement is not available for a particular cell. You can also leave the cell empty.
- Do not use different colors to represent different groups. Use a variable instead.
- Be consistent in date format; always uses month/day/year, as in 01/26/2025.
- Remove any patient identification information that is not needed for data analysis.
- Do not compute and include intermediate variables. The biostatisticians will do that for you.
- Bridging Clinical Investigators and Statisticians: Writing the Statistical Methodology for a Research Proposal
- How to craft the "Approach" section of an R grant application
- NIAID's sample applications and summary statements