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The Johns Hopkins University Department of Biostatistics offers the following three graduate programs to those applicants with a bachelor's degree (or higher) interested in professional or academic careers at the interface of the statistical and health sciences:

  • MHS (Master of Health Sciences): For outstanding individuals with prior professional experience or a professional degree seeking a one-year intensive course of study in biostatistical theory and methods.

  • ScM (Master of Science): For individuals with demonstrated excellence at the undergraduate level in the quantitative or biological sciences who seek a career as a professional statistician.

  • PhD (Doctor of Philosophy): For individuals with demonstrated excellence at the undergraduate level in the quantitative or biological sciences who wish to prepare themselves to become leading biostatistical researchers in academia, industry, or government.

  • Funded Training Programs in Statistical Methods in Environmental Epidemiology and Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Aging for PhD students who are US citizens or permanent residents.

  • Student Handbook

Hopkins Biostatistics is dedicated to high-quality education. Building on the legacy established by the late Helen Abbey (3 Golden Apples), Marie Diener-West, Jim Tonascia, Scott Zeger, John McGready, and Karen Bandeen-Roche have continued this tradition of educational excellence through their combined total of 20 Golden Apples.  As of 2010, faculty members in the department have won a total of 62 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching as well as Advising, Mentoring and Teaching Recognition Awards over the years--more than any other department.

Hopkins Perspective on Biostatistics:

Biostatistics comprises the reasoning and methods for using data as evidence to address public health and biomedical questions.  It is an approach and a set of tools for designing studies and for quantifying the resulting evidence, for quantifying what we believe, and for making decisions.

At Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics, research is characterized by a commitment to statistical science, its foundations and methods, as well as the application of statistical science to the solution of public health and biomedical problems.  As indicated in the two-way arrows in Figure 1, research on foundations, methods, and applications is mutually supportive.  To be excellent, biostatistical research must be built on a foundation of first-rate public health and biomedical research, like that which occurs at Johns Hopkins. 

  Foundations            Methodology           Applications


               Public Health and Biomedical Research

Research on foundations has as its goal the development of better strategies, or ways of reasoning, for empirical research.  For example, past chair William Cochran demonstrated how observational studies can be used to draw inferences about the causal effect of a treatment on a health outcome.  Jerry Cornfield showed how case control studies can be used to draw valid inferences about parameters in prospective models.  Richard Royall led a transition in statistical reasoning from decision methods (p-values, tests of hypotheses) toward likelihood methods, which quantify scientific evidence. 

Research on statistical methodology has as its goal the creation of new tools for drawing inferences from data.  To illustrate,  Scott Zeger, together with former faculty member Kung-Yee Liang, and Mei-Cheng Wang developed methods for regression analysis with correlated responses.  Dan Scharfstein and colleagues have developed graphical techniques for assessing the possible impact of missing data in clinical trials and observational studies.  Constantine Frangakis and colleagues have developed principal stratification, a ground-breaking method to infer causal relationships.  Rafael Irizarry has led in the development of statistical methods that have substantially improved the output of gene chip technology.  Brian Caffo, Ciprian Crainiceanu and their colleagues are advancing methods to interpet data of massive scope as arise in neurological images, accelerometers, and other advanced research technologies.  

 Biostatistics also includes research on important substantive questions.  For example, faculty member Roger Peng and colleagues have used multiple national databases to determine the effects of air pollution on mortality across the 90 largest American cities.  Marie Diener-West, Jim Tonascia, and others have led or collaborated in clinical trials of new therapeutic treatments.  Ingo Ruczinski and his colleagues are identifying genetic determinants of cancers, autism, cleft lip, and other diseases.  Karen Bandeen-Roche leads in programs, educational initiatives and research to determine the causes and course, and ultimately to postpone the onset, of disability and frailty in older adults.  Throughout its history and today, Hopkins Biostatistics has embraced a broad definition of our discipline, including foundations, methodology, and applications.  The faculty's commitment to this inclusive perspective and the support of the School's administration and faculty are two of the intangible yet critical components of the Department's current and future success.


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