Division of Biostatistics

Joycelynne Palmer, Ph.D.
The Division of Biostatistics provides statistical expertise for basic, translational and clinical research.
The services provided by the division 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 assists cancer center and Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope 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.

Biostatistics Core

The Biostatistics & Mathematical Oncology Core is directed by Joycelynne Palmer, Ph.D., director of the Division of Biostatistics. The Biostatistics & Mathematical Oncology Core draws effort from a large part of the Division of Biostatistics, with the core enabling their participation in cancer center-related pilot projects and proposals, which may later develop into externally funded projects. The 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 core also supports basic and translational research, as well as assisting several other cores. The 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 City of Hope-conducted or coordinated clinical protocols. In addition to these ongoing collaborative efforts, there have been more technically-focused projects in which the Biostatistics & Mathematical Oncology Core has supported the other cores in the implementation of technologies that involve statistical measurement issues.


  • Carolyn Behrendt, Ph.D.: Research interests include design and analysis of longitudinal studies, especially when competing outcomes, repeated observations or interactions between risk factors are present.
  • Suzette Blanchard, Ph.D.: Works with the neuro-oncology, breast cancer and hematology sections on design, operation and analysis of phase I and phase II trials. She also supports a number of laboratories working on translational research in designing and analyzing animal studies, and assay development. She coordinates the Clinical Investigators Training Program course on Design and Reporting of Clinical Intervention Research. Her own research is in phase I and phase II clinical trials design. Her most recent publication entitled “Toxicity Equivalence Range Design (TEQR): A Practical Phase I Design” in Contemporary Clinical Trials describes a new phase I dose escalation design which is a minimal elaboration of a 3+3 design to include a toxicity target, incorporate data beyond the initial 6 subjects at a dose, and permit intuitive specification of a too toxic level for closing a dose level.
  • Paul Frankel, Ph.D.: Research interests include clinical trials methodology and survival analysis techniques.
  • Rebecca Nelson, Ph.D.: Research interests include population-based epidemiologic patterns of disease risk and outcomes as they relate to genetic, environmental, clinical and treatment factors.
  • Joycelynne Palmer, Ph.D.
  • F. Lennie Wong, Ph.D.: Research interests include outcomes research and cost-effectiveness analysis of screening guidelines

Staff Biostatisticians

  • Yujie Cui
  • Andy Dagis
  • Arthur Li
  • Tanya Paris (data and report analyst)
  • Christopher Ruel
  • Nora Ruel
  • Tracey Stiller
  • Nicole Tsai