The Biostatistics Core is designed to enhance the UNC Superfund Research Program's assessment and reduction of risks to human health associated with Superfund high priority chemicals. The five projects in the SRP present considerable biostatistical issues and bioinformatics challenges that are central to the success of the projects. Our overall aims are to (i) provide state-of-the-art biostatistics and bioinformatics expertise, end-user analytical support, and tool development;(ii) to develop new methods and tools as necessary to address project objectives;(iii) to foster a unique training environment for students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty to prepare them for the new and complex challenges presented by modern datasets. The Core faculty and staff have a range of complementary skills, which will lead to a unified approaches to data interpretation, integration and cross-platform analysis. Collectively, the Core is highly relevant to the Superfund Program, as it will: ? support interdisciplinary (toxicology, genetics, biostatistics, pharmacokinetic modeling) research to elucidate the genetic basis of dose-response and susceptibility; ? develop and use state-of-the-art statistical techniques and analysis tools for systems biology approaches; ? identify potential biomarkers linked to genetic differences in toxicant metabolism and/or response;and ? generate knowledge that is directly applicable to quantitative elucidation of risk. The Core will be involved at the earliest stages of each project, assisting investigators in each step of planning and executing the projects. Each Core faculty member is assigned a role to two projects. A staff statistician with considerable bioinformatics experience will serve as a dedicated analyst, under the guidance of Core faculty members. The Core director will report to the SRP Director, and members, who already collaborate extensively, will meet regularly with the investigators and with each other to plan and exchange ideas.
The overall Program is highly relevant to public health, providing improved understanding of risk sources and risk variation due to exposure to hazardous chemicals. The Biostatistics Core will enhance this relevance, maximizing the information gained from each project and enabling the use of modern bioinformatics approaches to complex datasets.
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