Quantitative sciences provide an essential component of the scientific basis for research conducted at MD Anderson:
- Developing designs for clinical trials, laboratory experiments and observational studies
- Statistical analysis of data arising from these experiments
- Developing new methods for the analysis of complex data
- Analyzing complex data
- Database development and management
- Writing user-friendly computer programs for clinical trial conduct
- Mathematical modeling of observational processes, outcome analyses of therapy, screening and prevention interventions and cost-effectiveness analyses
These activities often evolve from collaborations between division faculty and physicians and research scientists at MD Anderson and other institutions. The problems arising from these collaborations provide the motivation for much of the methodological research conducted in the quantitative science departments. Under the guidance of the founding chair and division head, Donald A. Berry, Ph.D., the quantitative science departments grew rapidly to become leaders in the development and use of innovative statistical methodology, robust statistical designs for clinical trials, bioinformatics, and computational biology.
Two departments comprise the quantitative sciences: the Department of Biostatistics and the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Statistical analysts are a vital part of the team approach to collaboration and statistical research projects. A team of faculty and analysts collaborate with research physicians and scientists in a number of ways, including research methodology design, protocol design and review, data analysis, development of statistical models and education.