Published: Apr. 18, 2012
Updated: Apr. 18, 2012
Today’s studies of the smallest increments of a human -- the genome, the gene, the protein, the metabolite -- yield a tremendous amount of complex data.
That means that today’s biomedical research teams are increasingly reliant on biostatisticians -- people who have not only strong statistics skills but also a foundation in human biology, and the ability to communicate statistical principles to multidisciplinary research teams.
The demand for biostatisticians is outstripping the supply. Hence Duke’s new Master of Biostatistics Program, which welcomed its first class of 16 students this school year.
The two-year degree program provides mentored academic training in biostatistics, including experiential learning opportunities in authentic ongoing research.
“We wanted this to be different from a traditional master’s program,” says Greg Samsa, PhD, director of graduate studies for the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. “We wanted active, hands-on learning. Biostatistics is a relatively new and rapidly growing discipline, and these are the skills we know employers are looking for.”
The program provides a practice-based learning environment, so that graduates will leave the program with a portfolio that demonstrates their mastery of analytical skills, biological knowledge, and communication.