We propose a continuation to our existing predoctoral training program in Biostatistics in Genetics, Immunology, and Neuroimaging (BGIN). In this program, students learn to make statistical and computational innovations applied in the areas of genetics /genomics, immunology/ vaccinology / infectious diseases, or neuroimaging. The rationale for this program at Emory is the strong interdisciplinary research programs already in place in these areas, and increasing strengths added since the BGIN program began. The Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Emory has embarked in a period of rapid growth. We are currently advertising for new faculty at all levels, with a focus on the interface between bioinformatics and biostatistics, in particular, genomics, high-dimensional analysis, comprehensive informatics, spatial statistics, neuroimaging, but about any field would be acceptable. We have a great interest in increasing the number of biostatistics predoctoral positions in our department. Already, the number of research grants and training opportunities provided by our faculty far exceeds the current number of Ph.D. students. The scientific tools of gene expression arrays, proteomics, metabolomics, and sequencing are used in both immunology and genetics. When adding the field of neuroimaging, all approaches represent the current frontiers of science and result in large and complex data structures, problems of multiple comparisons, identifiability, interpretation, false discovery rates. These problems define the workbench for training the next generation of biostatisticians.
The proposed training program provides instruction and experience in the quantitative analysis of biomedical data arising from genetic, immunological, and neuroimaging studies. Such studies generate vast amounts of data and require new approaches to summarize, understand, and report findings in an accurate, reliable, and reproducible manner. Trainees completing the program will have experience collaborating with biomedical researchers at the forefront of modern clinical, laboratory, and epidemiologic research and will be positioned to take leading roles in the rapidly evolving fields of biostatistics and bioinformatics. '
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