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Biostatistics Core

History:

Dedication of the Seng-jaw and Mayhue Soong clinical Studies Unit, April 7, 2016, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dedication of the Seng-jaw and Mayhue Soong clinical Studies Unit, April 7, 2016, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Biostatistics Core of UAB's NORC was originally directed by the late Dr. Seng-Jaw Soong. Dr. Soong was an outstanding statistician known as much for his organizational leadership as for his scientific accomplishments. Dr. Desmond served as the associate director of the NORC Biostatistics Core before Dr. Soong’s retirement. Dr. David Allison appointed Dr. Desmond as the acting director of the core in June 2005. Subsequently, the external advisory committee appointed Dr. Desmond as the director on May 11, 2006. Current core members in 2018 include Drs. Tapan Mehta and José Fernández.

NORC members
Dr. David Allison, former NORC director, with UAB NORC members and other faculty and staff, July 2017.
 

Services:

Over the years the NORC Biostatistics Core (BC) has emerged as a leader in statistical aspects of basic, clinical, and translational nutrition and obesity research within and beyond the UAB campus. Our efforts incorporate creativity in experimental designs and statistical consultation, support statistical training, and incorporate novel statistical approaches into the dynamic nutrition and obesity research conducted at UAB and beyond through the following specific aims:

Specific Aim 1 - Design: To provide statistical consultation on study design to NORC investigators;

Specific Aim 2 - Analysis: To provide statistical collaboration, statistical consultation or statistical support on data analyses for studies led by NORC investigators;

Specific Aim 3 - Teaching and Training: To lead and participate in workshops, conferences, short courses and other teaching and training activities of the NORC to improve statistical comprehension and practice of our NORC members and the nutrition and obesity fields overall;

Specific Aim 4 - Development: To develop, adapt, and disseminate novel statistical design and methods for nutrition and obesity research.

Table 1. Specialized statistical services provided by the NORC BC
Mediation analyses
Missing data analysis
Structural equation modeling
Complex sample design
Genetic data analysis
Epidemiologic analysis of large datasets
Longitudinal data analysis
Dr. Renee Desmond and Dr. Bertha Hidalgo, a current faculty member of UAB Dept. of Epidemiology.
Dr. Renee Desmond and Dr. Bertha Hidalgo, a current faculty member of UAB Dept. of Epidemiology.
Dr. Cindy Blair former mentee of Wendy Demark- Wahnefried and current faculty member of the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Cindy Blair former mentee of Wendy Demark- Wahnefried and current faculty member of the University of New Mexico.
 
Ms. Claudia Hardy of the Deep South Network presents research findings from Dr. Monica Baskin’s study at the Minority Health Research Symposium.
Ms. Claudia Hardy of the Deep South Network presents research findings from Dr. Monica Baskin’s study at the Minority Health Research Symposium.
Dr. John Waterbor, director of Cancer Research Experience for Students (a program with many NORC faculty mentors) and Dr. Renee Desmond attending a conference at Tuskegee University.
Dr. John Waterbor, director of Cancer Research Experience for Students (a program with many NORC faculty mentors) and Dr. Renee Desmond attending a conference at Tuskegee University.
 

Resources:

A full range of statistical software is utilized while maintaining data security and HIPPA compliant operations. An extensive listing of the computing facilities available can be made available upon request.

Fees:

The Biostatistics Core assigns the highest priority of use to nutrition/obesity-related, peer-reviewed, federally funded research and NORC-approved pilot/feasibility studies. The Cores uses a flexible charge back policy when assisting NORC pilot and feasibility grantees to substantiate extramural research grant applications. Usually, the investigators will be asked to cover as much of the routine charges as possible; however, because funding may not be in hand to fully support the acquisition of preliminary data, the Core will absorb these costs in part if fiscally feasible. The Core will also provide an estimate of the support effort required to accomplish so that the level of support can be properly budgeted.

Table 2. Rate Schedule: Hourly Service
Service Rate 1
(UAB)
Rate 2
(Industry)
Secretarial/Report Generation $25 $35
Data Entry $20 $30
Administrative Support $35 $45
Data Management $35 $50
Programming $50 $75
Web system development $60 $100-$125
Statistical Analysis $100 $150-$200

Contacts:

Renee Desmond, Ph.D.
Director, Biostatistics Core
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine
Phone: (205) 934-3722
Email: desmond@uab.edu

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Services Administration
School of Health Professions 590E
Phone: (205) 975-9171
E-mail: tapan@uab.edu

José Fernández, Ph.D.
Professor and Vice Chair for Education
Department of Nutrition Sciences
Phone: (205) 934-2029
E-mail: jose@uab.edu