Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core


Overview

The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core (BBFC) provides the CEHS with the needed expertise to apply state-of-the-art statistical methods to the design and analysis of all types of environmental health research studies, ranging from laboratory study design, analysis of multidimensional gene by environment interactions, and quantification of complex time-dependent exposures. BBFC personnel have expertise in the state-of-the-art statistical methods required to address the most complex of study design and data analysis issues, making it an efficient and cost-effective allocation of resources.

Specific interactions between BBFC members and other CEHS researchers involve the optimal design of research studies (often in conjunction with the Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core and the Systems Biology Facility Core); the implementation of sophisticated statistical analyses of research data; the development of new graduate coursework including the three credit hour course “Biostatistics for Laboratory Scientists” to train new environmental researchers in biostatistical methods, including rapidly changing methods for analysis of genomic data; mentoring of new investigators through support for K* grant applications and R* applications; and the organization and presentation of educational opportunities (e.g., seminars, workshops, symposia) as they relate directly to biostatistical and bioinformatic needs of CEHS researchers.
 
BBFC members are needed occasionally to develop new statistical methods for analysis of new types of data, for which current statistical methods are sub-optimal. These interactions help to ensure that CEHS research studies are valid and precise, leading to meaningful and relevant scientific conclusions about important environmental health issues. In addition, we place additional emphasis on ensuring that doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees have at least a basic understanding of the types of statistical methods appropriate for analysis of future environmental health data.

Goals and specific aims

The goal of the BBFC is to provide a high-quality, efficient, and user-friendly core facility to support laboratory-based, population-based, and clinical investigations into both genetic and environmental determinants of human health and disease. We will achieve this goal through the following three specific aims.

Aim 1: To facilitate high-quality CEHS research activities by providing state-of-the-art biostatistics and bioinformatics expertise to CEHS researchers in study design and data analysis.

Aim 2: To further the educational mission of CEHS by providing targeted education of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty and by providing in-depth mentoring of junior investigators.

Aim 3: To develop and implement new statistical methods where needed to facilitate scientific study of hypotheses of interest to CEHS investigators.


Personnel

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core director:
Wei Sun, PhD; Department of Biostatistics
Email: weisun@email.unc.edu Phone: 966-7266
 
Co-Director:
Amy H. Herring, ScD; Department of Biostatistics
Email: aherring@bios.unc.edu Phone: 843-6368
 
Scientific Personnel:
Eric Bair, PhD; Department of Biostatistics and School of Dentistry
Email: ebair@email.unc.edu Phone: 537-3276
 
Michael Wu, PhD; Department of Biostatistics
Email: mwu@bios.unc.edu Phone: 843-3656
 
Fei Zou, PhD; Department of Biostatistics
Email: fzou@bios.unc.edu Phone: 843-4822
 
Funded by NIEHS Grant # P30 ES010126