About the Biostatistics Core

Since its members have experience handling complex, high-volume research data and are aware of various sophisticated data analysis approaches, the Biostatistics Core plays a crucial role in the success of many research projects. Indirectly, this has a great impact on patient care.

Project examples include:

  • Transplant algorithm. A new algorithm was developed for determining who gets a transplant. This algorithm is now used nationally for organ allocation, and patients who may have otherwise died while on the waiting list are able to get organs sooner.
  • Laboratory testing. The core has worked on projects that examine new laboratory tests for earlier identification of diseases, which can lead to improved prognosis.
  • Clinical trials. To keep them unbiased, investigators are usually blinded as to which treatment a given study participant receives in a clinical trial. Only the trial statistician knows this information and monitors the trial while it is under way to watch for adverse effects of the treatment being studied.

Core members work within a team structure that includes — depending on the needs of the project — Ph.D. statisticians, bioinformatics specialists and programmers. At any given time, the core is collaborating on thousands of projects. In 2011, staff from the Biostatistics Core and Bioinformatics Core contributed to more than 900 publications.

Personnel include more than 60 master's-level statisticians who consult on protocol development, study design and statistical methodologies. There are also more than 90 statistical programmer analysts who support data management and analysis.

The core is closely involved in studies connected to Mayo Clinic centers, including the Center for Individualized Medicine, Center for Regenerative Medicine and Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.