Biostatistics -- Core Facility

Colin B. Begg (Core Facility Head)

The Biostatistics Core Facility currently consists of 32 biostatisticians, 18 of them with professional staff appointments and 14 with research appointments, and a support staff comprising of computing professionals, and administrators. The facility provides the following services:

Collaborative Research

We participate in many long-range funded collaborative projects covering a broad spectrum of basic and clinical research. Here the facility is usually involved from the first stages of planning through data collection and analysis to final evaluation.

General Consulting

We are also involved in supplying our expertise to investigators in the Center in the form of short-term statistical consultation. Through this consulting service, biostatisticians provide advice on the design and analysis of research studies, which includes the analysis of data sets from studies already completed; the design of clinical trials or laboratory experiments; help with the revision of papers for publication or interpretation of results reported by other investigators.

Clinical Trials

We have the capacity to set up and conduct randomization of patients into the treatment arms of controlled trials.

Support in Grant Preparation

The Biostatistics Facility works closely with investigators in preparation of grant and contract applications for submission to various funding agencies.

Education

Members of the Biostatistics Facility are frequently asked to participate in seminars or give expository lectures on statistical aspects of clinical trials and other research projects. In addition, informal instruction takes place in many consulting and collaborative engagements. A course is offered by the facility, under the auspices of the Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, to interested staff of MSKCC entitled “Biostatistics for Clinical Investigators.

Data Management and Computing Support

Members of the facility work jointly with the Office of Clinical Research to maintain the institutional Clinical Research Database, which encompasses the prospective accrual system for clinical research protocols. Investigators can obtain assistance with database or data management issues by calling two telephone helplines. The Office of Clinical Research provides support to investigators conducting research studies to help provide an effective environment for study planning and conduct. There are three avenues of support: development and maintenance of a computing database environment; education and training of data managers; and user-support service for investigators and data managers. The role of the Computing Resource Group within this facility is to provide an effective and efficient computing environment.