About Our Department
Our Department of Biostatistics is recognized as a worldwide leader in research and practice. Members of our faculty are interested both in the development of statistical methodology and application of biostatistics in applied research.

Our Vision: The Department of Biostatistics is a world leader in statistical research and statistical practice for the purposes of improving the public’s health, improving biostatistical education and advancing the biostatistics profession.

Our Mission: To forge dramatic advances in health science research that benefit human health in North Carolina, the U.S. and globally through the development of profound and paradigm-shifting innovations in biostatistical methodology and the thoughtful implementation of biostatistical practice to solve public health problems. We bring about positive, equitable, sustainable changes in health by:

  • Supporting excellence in biostatistical practice by conducting theory and methods research of clear relevance to practice;
  • Promoting sound application of new and existing statistical methods;
  • Fostering equity and diversity in the biostatistics field and beyond;
  • Improving biostatistical education at the undergraduate and graduate level
  • Working with undergraduate colleges to promote biostatistics as a discipline for graduate studies and a professional career;
  • Anticipating and meeting the learning needs of our students by maintaining an open and inclusive environment in the department;
  • Using the tools of our discipline to enhance human welfare through collaboration in research with colleagues in the biological and health sciences; and
  • Seeking opportunities to advance the biostatistics profession.

Our History

In 1949, Gertrude Cox, MS, helped establish the Department of Biostatistics in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health, selecting her former student, Bernard Greenberg, PhD, to lead the new department. Dr. Greenberg pioneered efforts to establish the practice of cooperative multicenter trials, changing the course of practice for the evaluation of new drugs. 

That tradition of statistical innovation continues in a program led by Lisa LaVange, PhD, professor of biostatistics. Today, the biostatistics department is the statistical home for many studies in the UNC schools of medicine and nursing, and provides statistical support for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS).

Our Milestones 

Department Spotlights
Professor Emeritus

Pranab K. Sen, PhD

UNC Gillings community mourns Professor Emeritus Pranab Sen.

Our Work in Public Health and Biomedical Research
Faculty, students and staff in the Department of Biostatistics are engaged in cutting-edge research to address challenges in public health and medicine. The tools of biostatistics, such as data science and machine learning, are developed and deployed within the department to help cure cancer, fight infectious diseases, understand neurological diseases and, in general, improve public health.
Pancreatic cancer researchers receive large grant from National Cancer Institute
Gillings study shows updated bivalent boosters are more effective at preventing hospitalization and death from omicron
UNC research identifies genetic variations linked to brain activity, mental health
Our Numbers At A Glance
Years of biostatistics training
PhD's granted in the last 20 years, the most of any program in the US
Top 5 graduate program in the country according to US News
First-ever Bios BSPH degree awarded in 1979
Our Programs

Career Opportunities

The demand for well-trained biostatisticians continues to grow: Fortune Magazine predicts 23% job growth by 2024.

Our Graduates Work As
Analyst Programmers
Data Analysts
Data Scientists
Statistical Programmers
Our Graduates Work With
Contract Research Organizations
Government agencies
Medical device companies
Non-profit agencies
Pharmaceutical companies
Software companies
Leading in research and practice.
Apply Now
Contact your Academic Coordinator.
Assistant to Chair: Anna Lohmann
Looking for someone else?
MPH@UNC (MPH Online) Only:
Program Coordinator, John Sugg

135 Dauer Drive
3101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7420
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7420
(919) 966-7250

Biostatistics Events

November 11
All Day
Biostatistics 75th Anniversary Celebration