Research Emphasis

The Division of Biostatistics provides statistical expertise for basic, translational, and clinical research in the Cancer Center. The services provided by the Division of Biostatistics are collaboration, consulting, and statistical computing. The core faculty members maintain expertise in a variety of specialized areas including clinical trials, high throughput functional genomics, pharmacokinetic modeling, epidemiology and statistical genetics. The Division of Biostatistics assists Cancer Center and Beckman Research Institute investigators with study design, analytic plan development, database design and data extraction, efficacy and safety monitoring, manuscript preparation, and the development of grant proposals and clinical protocols. Service to the institution includes statistical review of cancer-related clinical research protocols for the CPRMC, IRB and DSMB. Outside of their core activities, the faculty members are also engaged in externally funded biomedical research, the development of statistical methodology and teaching in the graduate school and the Clinical Investigation Training Program.
The Biostatistics Core is directed by Dr. Jeffrey Longmate, Director of the Division of Biostatistics, with Dr. David D. Smith serving as Co-Director. The Biostatistics Core draws effort from a large part of the Division of Biostatistics, with the Biostatistics Core enabling their participation in Cancer Center-related pilot projects and proposals, which may later develop into externally funded projects. The Biostatistics Core is directly involved in Cancer Center research from the inception of a research idea to the publication of results. Clinical research projects account for the largest portion of core use, but the Biostatistics Core also supports basic and translational research, as well as assisting several other cores. The Biostatistics Core staff collaborate closely with the Biomedical Informatics core to support data processing and analysis of gene expression microarrays, and the Biostatistics Core works closely with both the Clinical Research Informatics Core and the Clinical Trials Management Core to implement COH-conducted or coordinated clinical protocols. In addition to these ongoing collaborative efforts, there have been more technically-focused projects in which the Biostatistics Core has supported the other cores in the implementation of technologies that involve statistical measurement issues. This has recently included the Affymetrix Core, the Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Lab, and the Genotyping Core.
  • Joyce Niland’s research interests are clinical trials methodology, outcomes research, and biomedical informatics. She also directs the Data Coordinating Centers for two nationwide research networks: (1) the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Outcomes Research Study, studying patterns of care, guideline concordance, and factors associated with patient outcomes within our nation’s Cancer Centers; and (2) the Islet Cell Resources (ICR) consortium, investigating optimization of islet cell harvesting for transplantation in type I diabetes.
  • Jeffrey Longmate’s research interests are study design and statistical inference arising from collaborations in genetics, immunology, and early-phase clinical trials. Dr. Longmate co-directs the coordinating center for multi-center Phase I/II drug development, directs the Data Coordinating Center for the Southern California Islet-Cell Consortium, and coordinates the Biostatistics segment of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics course for the Graduate School and the Medical Fellows Training Program.
  • Li Cheng’s research interests include the role of genetic markers and receptors in the etiology and manifestation of disease processes.
  • David Smith is interested in pre-clinical study design, clinical trial methodology, and microarray study design and data analysis.
  • Paul Frankel’s research interests include clinical trials methodology and survival analysis techniques.
  • Rebecca Nelson’s research interests include exploring patterns of disease risk and outcomes as related to clinical and environmental covariates.
  • Dajun Qian’s research interests include clinical trial methodology, linkage analysis, and haplotype sharing correlation analysis.