Biostatistics Shared Facility

A cancer center that advocates the development and implementation of high quality clinical trials and/or basic science cancer research needs to be fully supported by a strong statistics team. When research is thoughtfully planned to include a complete statistical section, multiple, and creative hypotheses can be included. An unplanned and not well executed study wastes resources and can lead to inconclusive or wrong conclusions. Providing sufficient and credible statistical support to a cancer center is very challenging. In addition to excellent communication skills, understanding medical terminology and different diseases, short- and long-term adverse events, a sound statistical knowledge is required by the individual statistician and the collective group of statisticians. Research at the individual study level and at the broader level can involve a variety of statistical techniques, such as survival analysis (e.g., disease-free survival data), longitudinal analysis (e.g., repeated observations on subjects), high dimensional data analysis (e.g., genomic analyses), survey sampling (e.g., epidemiological studies), design and analysis of Phase I-IV trials, dose response models, among others. Another skill required is to manage time effectively from project to project as well as across projects as they can compete for the same resources including time and creative energy. Knowledge of statistical tools and database is a set of skills that also must be managed effectively. Then, allocating the resources to different divisions/programs of the cancer center to match established priorities requires yet another set of important skills.  The biostatistics team includes faculty who are specialized in as many areas (listed above) as possible, master level biostatisticians who are well trained and attentive to details, computing staff who are key to creating databases and supporting software/hardware, and interns (graduate students and post-doctoral fellows) who need solid, advanced training. Recruiting and retaining members of such a team is and should be a constant challenge. Monitoring progress of each person and each project requires a thoughtful presence of a trusted leader and an infrastructure that is flexible and deep. Future growth is another key aspect for the Biostatistics Shared Facility. Leadership and faculty need to be mindful of extramural funding opportunities and of the need to collaborate well with other scholarly projects. Finally, we believe that statisticians have a role in providing education (in-services, for example) to others about statistical techniques relevant to their areas of research and have a role as co-author in developing manuscripts, presentations, and grants. We are developing the Biostatistics Shared Facility with these goals and from full support from James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

Who We are:

  • Shesh N. Rai:   Ph. D, Director and Professor , Wendell Cherry Chair in Clinical Trial Research
  • Jianmin Pan:   Ph.D. Biostatistician III
  • Xiaoyong Wu: Ph.D., Biostatistician II
  • Alexander Cambon: Ph.D., Biostatistician IV
  • Jasmit Shah: Ph.D. Candidate
  • Patrick Trainor: Ph.D. Student
  • Xiaohong Li, Ph.D. Student

How We Can Help:

  • Provide power and sample size justification for pre-clinical and clinical retrospective and prospective studies
  • Provide statistical considerations for grant proposals
  • Provide assistance with protocol development
  • Provide Data, Safety and Monitoring in Clinical Trials
  • Perform statistical analysis and prepare statistical reports
    • Analysis is application and data-specific, but include methods such as survival analysis, longitudinal analysis, missing data analysis, high-dimensional data analysis including GWAS, gene expression analysis, machine learning, etc.
    • Develop and validate R and SAS programs

Collaboration (Over 700 projects completed or in process as on 01-01-2015):

Collaborations have involved a wide range of studies, including Pre-Clinical and Phase I-IV Clinical Studies, as well as Observational Studies. Collaborators are from fields including:

  • Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Radiation Oncology,
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology Oncology,
  • Surgical Research, Cardiology, Neurology, Nursing, Pharmacy, Pediatrics, Structural Biology,
  • Microbiology & Immunology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Physiology & Biophysics, Diabetes and Obesity, Epidemiology and Population Health, Nephrology, and Nutrition

Contact Information:

Shesh N. Rai:    Shesh.Rai@Louisville.Edu;  P:502-852-4030

Jianmin Pan:   Jianmin.Pan@Louisville.Edu; P:502-852-3793

CTR Building, Rooms 209, 211- 213