The Biostatistics Center collaborates with MGH investigators on clinical and laboratory studies, acts as a statistical center for national and international clinical studies and conducts research in statistical methodology.
The center provides statistical support to MGH investigators who are planning studies or applying for funding through its membership in the Catalyst Program, the MGH Clinical Research Program and the Harvard Cancer Center. The center also consults with investigators on data analysis problems, and provides statistical support to many departments within the hospital.
The Center’s research program in statistical methodology has focused on interval censored data, the relationship between longitudinal and survival data, the design of clinical trials including sample size estimation, methods for analysis of gene arrays and Bayesian methods for cancer screening using tumor markers.
Currently, the Biostatistics Center is involved in the coordination of six major national and international programs. They are the ARDS Clinical Trials Network, the Cancer Genetics Network, the Rare Cancer Genetics Registry, the NEALS Consortium, the ROMICAT trial, and the CHOICE trial.
The Biostatistics Center has experience with multiple data management systems which can be customized for the needs of each project. The ARDS Network and the Cancer Genetics Network use distributed data management systems which allow coordinators and remote sites to enter data over the internet directly into the Biostatistics Center's systems. The Center has a TeleForm installation, which allows sites to fax or mail case report forms which are then imaged and converted to a database using optical mark recognition. The department also runs an online randomization system.
The Biostatistics Center maintains a research-computing infrastructure designed to facilitate the ability to support multiple projects. Statisticians have access to SAS, R, Matlab, and other statistical software. The Center also runs a 22-node computing cluster, for parallel computing tasks.