What is biostatistics?

Biostatistics applies statistical reasoning and methods to health-related fields including public health, medicine and biology. As one of the core disciplines of public health, it is concerned with quantitative aspects of health science research, covering its design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation.

Biostatistical methods are used for a wide range of public health activities, such as assessing etiological hypotheses of diseases and injuries, evaluating effectiveness of intervention programs/policies/trials, and monitoring and detecting health trends of population.

What are we doing in the area of biostatistics?

Biostatistics faculty members are engaged in the development and application of biostatistical methods for a wide range of health science research, as well as the teaching of them. Methodological developments we pursue are always motivated by, and carried out through, collaborations with researchers in public health, medicine, biology and other health related fields.

Students interested in biostatistics can be enrolled in the following programs: master of public health (MPH) in applied bioststistics, master of science (MSc) in epidemiology, and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) in epidemiology or public health.

Our methodological research is usually funded through Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other governmental funding agencies. In addition to methodological developments, each biostatistics faculty member is highly active in collaborative interdisciplinary research with researchers and governments locally, nationally and internationally.

What is the focus of our research?

Our current research activities include:

  • Epidemiological studies based on analysis of complex survey data
  • Modeling gene-environment/gene-treatment interactions
  • Developing new/improved epidemiologic methods
  • Prediction modeling of health events at population and individual levels
  • Statistical learning from high-dimensional biological data in genetics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics
Researcher Irina Dinu investigates tools for microarray technology, critical in measuring gene expression and studying disease markers.
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Researcher Gian Jhangri collaborates with practitioners and scholars in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical research.
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Professor Sentil Senthilselvan studies respiratory diseases including asthma and genetic epidemiology including gene-environment interaction.
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Researcher Yan Yuan studies the development and application of biostatistical methods to biomedical and public health research.
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