Biostatistics Snapshot

Hello, prospective students! Welcome to our brief overview of Biostatistics at UNC Gillings.

Students converse with Dr. Michael Kosorok, Kenan Distinguished Professor and chair of the biostatistics department.

Students converse with Dr. Michael Kosorok, Kenan Distinguished Professor and chair of the biostatistics department.

Our thriving biostatistics department, part of one of the top schools of public health – and public universities –  in the nation, is widely recognized as a leader in research and practice worldwide.  

Nearly all faculty members in Biostatistics have research interests in both the development of statistical methodology and the application of statistics in applied research. Collaboration is not only encouraged, but expected. Your research projects will likely involve members of the Gillings School faculty, investigators at the UNC Medical School, and scientists at other organizations, including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and biopharmaceutical firms.

Interested in finding out more? Visit our full department website.

By the numbers

Faculty:

  • 21 tenure-track/tenured
  • 10 research-track
  • 3 clinical research track
  • 2 academic fixed-term (one instructor, one clinical teaching track)
  • 9 joint
  • 15 Adjunct

Students:

  • 30 BSPH
  • 10 MPH
  • 27 MS
  • 28 DRPH
  • 89 PhD
Our faculty

Our faculty’s research strengths include:

  • Development of new statistical methods to address pressing issues in medicine and public health sciences;
  • Design of innovative clinical trials that allow faster evaluation of new therapeutic agents;
  • Teamwork focused on important public health concerns, including infectious diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and drinking water safety;
  • Application of expertise in quantitative methods to improve the health of human beings around the globe.

Discover more on ReachNC, a web portal with to-the-minute information about our faculty members’ grants, publications, research interests and  networks.

Contact us

For general questions regarding the department, degrees or admissions:

Veronica Stallings, Department Registrar

  • 919.966.7262
  • stalling@bios.unc.edu

The goal of Biostatistics is to develop statistical methods and apply them to human health topics – and ultimately to improve human health. It’s an indispensable tool for scientific research related to human health and well-being.

Overall, the rigorous curriculum, training and research experiences in Biostatistics are truly exceptional.
Dr. Kim's current research focuses on developing statistical methods to evaluate biomarkers and medical diagnostic tests to detect and predict disease.
Eunhee Kim, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Brown University
PhD (UNC BIOS, 2009)

In North Carolina, across the United States and around the world, our faculty members have active studies, giving our students the chance to work with them to extend their skills and potential impact through:

methodological research, including studies involving:

  • Bayesian methodology
  • categorical data analysis
  • clinical trials
  • demography and population dynamics
  • empirical processes
  • generalized linear models
  • longitudinal or dependent data
  • missing or mismeasured data
  • semiparametric or nonparametric methodology
  • statistical genetics and computational biology
  • survey sampling
  • survival analysis
  • medical imaging

collaborative research on:

  • HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease
  • dentistry
  • environmental and occupational exposure
  • psychology and mental health
Incoming BIOS students_fall2012

Students in the 2012 Biostatistics cohort. . . . “Our analyses ultimately determine whether a new drug can save lives, whether a new intervention can slow the spread of HIV infection, whether chemicals in food are negatively affecting consumers. . . As a biostatistician, you are doing things every day that impact people around the world.” — Matt Matheson, MS 2009

Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH). Prepares students for entry-level professional statistical and programming careers, and provides a firm academic base for subsequent studies in biostatistics, medicine and other fields.

Master of  Public Health (MPH). Prepares individuals for positions that require broad knowledge of public health as well as specialized knowledge of biostatistics. At least one year of full-time post-baccalaureate work experience in public health or medicine, or a professional degree such as an MD, is a prerequisite.

Master of Science  (MS). Provides research-oriented training in the theory and methodology of biostatistics and its application to the solution of problems in the health sciences.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Provides advanced, research-oriented training in theory and methodology of biostatistics to prepare individuals for careers in academia, government and industry.

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). Prepares students for leadership positions in applied research settings related to human health requiring specialized knowledge of biostatistics. At least one year of full-time post-baccalaureate work experience in public health or medicine, or a professional degree such as an MD, is a prerequisite.

Joint Master’s-to-Medical Doctorate (MPH-MD). Prepares physicians to conduct clinical and other scientific research.

Joint Doctor of Philosophy and Medical Doctorate (PhD-MD). Provides advanced, research-oriented training in theory and methodology of biostatistics to prepare individuals for careers in academia, government and industry.

Jean Orelien, DrPH 2007, BIOS

Jean Orelien, DrPH (BIOS 2007) is founder, president and CEO of SciMetrika, LLC, a major population health consulting firm in RTP. Inc. Magazine recognized him as one of the country’s “Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs” in 2010 and 2011.

Where will a degree in biostatistics take you? Our alumni hold senior leadership positions in the U.S. and around the world in:

  • Academic environments, including schools of public health, medicine and nursing
  • Government agencies, including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the FDA, the CDC, NIH, and NHLBI (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute)
  • Nonprofit organizations large and small, including the Gates foundation, FHI 360, and RTI International
  • Pharmaceutical and contract research organizations, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, PPD, Quintiles, and Rho

Recent alumni positions include:

  • Faculty appointments in biostatistics departments around the world , including Yale, Brown, Michigan, Emory, Harvard, Wisconsin, KAIST, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and many others!
  • Director of Biostatistics, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration
  • Chief, Statistical Research and Applications Branch, National Cancer Institute
  • Project Director of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos
  • Survey Statistician, RTI International
  • Biostatistician, University of Utah
  • Statistical Programmer, Duke Clinical Research Institute
  • Senior Statistician, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Senior Research Statistician, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Research Assistant in Epidemiology and Disease Prevention, University of Insubria, Italy
  • Pediatric Cardiologist, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Biostatistician, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center
(BIOS)faculty

Professor Amy Herring (left) meets with students about a research project outdoors on a beautiful Carolina day.

Interested in finding out about our course offerings?

Faculty in biostatistics create a welcoming, interactive learning environment in twenty-first century teaching and research facilities. What’s more, we have plenty of wired spaces across our three buildings for students to meet, collaborate, and take ideas to the next stage.

Take a look at our complete course catalog, plus syllabi, to find out more about our course offerings.

Visit our full department website to find out more. Take a look at our alumni page while you’re there!