Biostatistics is an exciting field of statistics concerned with the development and application of statistical methods to problems arising in health, biology, and the environment. Biostatisticians can play important roles in many facets of research including refining the research question, designing studies, analyzing data, making predictions, and critical appraisal. The increasing number of pressing problems in health, biological, and environmental research often warrants the development of innovative statistical methods. Biostatisticians are often best equipped to make these innovations.
Biostatistics is one of the department's largest specialty areas in graduate studies and the department has some of the leading researchers in the field. The department enjoys strong connections with several health and biological research groups on campus including the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, the School of Optometry, and the Population Health Research Group. Faculty and graduate students also frequently engage in collaborative work with industrial groups such as GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) Everest Talks, regional research groups, and the government.
The MMath in Biostatistics and PhD in Biostatistics programs are highly regarded within and outside of the university. These programs ensure students are trained in the foundations of scientific methods, statistical analysis, and computing to equip them to deal with a wide range of challenges arising in health and biological research. Specific topics include clinical trial design, epidemiological methods, generalized linear models, longitudinal data analysis, event history analysis, stochastic processes, and statistical computing.
The demand for biostatisticians in Canada and internationally is very high and graduates typically find excellent employment opportunities upon completion of their studies. Stimulating employment opportunities are often found in places such as pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, regional or national centers for health research, academic centers, and public health agencies.
In 2006, a Master's in Public Health program was launched in the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology. Several of the faculty in Statistics and Actuarial Science hold cross or joint appointments in the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology.