Department of Biostatistics
Mission Statement for Baltimore
The discipline of biostatistics creates and applies methods for quantitative research in the health sciences. In Baltimore, the Department supports the design and analysis of critical studies of importance to the health of the city. It also aims to promote education in biostatistics, and associated career paths, for city students. Our ultimate goals in these activities are to improve health for the city’s citizens and create avenues for opportunity and empowerment through the application of quantitative reasoning.
Aging and Experience Corps
For decades the Department of Biostatistics has partnered in studies engaging Baltimore’s older citizens. The Women’s Health and Aging Studies followed more than a thousand older Baltimoreans for up to 17 years to determine factors predisposing some to maintaining robust health and others to becoming disabled or frail. More recently, The Experience Corps Project provided older adults with opportunities to support their community while potentially gaining health benefits for themselves. The study engages the older adults to support education for children in Baltimore City Schools. Department faculty have contributed to each of these studies since their inception, from the initial study design through helping to test whether an effort such as Experience Corps improves knowledge and behavior of the children and the health of the older adults.
Reducing Asthma Impacts
Associate professor Roger Peng co-directs the data management and statistics core (DMSC) of the Johns Hopkins Center for Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment. The Center studies environmental and behavioral factors putting Baltimore children at risk for asthma morbidity. It also designs and tests environmental modifications for reducing health problems resulting from asthma. The DMSC supports the research through developing innovative study designs and methods for analyzing and interpreting study data.
Richard Thompson, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Biostatistics Center, is currently a Co-Investigator for the Asthma Express Trial: Bridging Emergency Department to Primary Care for Children with Asthma. The goal of this randomized trial, which largely takes place in Baltimore, is to test the effectiveness of an emergency department-based plus home-based asthma intervention against standard-of-care practices in a sample of inner city children suffering from asthma. The goal of this is to reduce the number of repeat emergency department visits, symptom days and symptom nights resulting from asthma in this cohort.
Biostatistics Baltimore Project: Access to Statistical Education and Career Paths
The Department of Biostatistics will pursue two initiatives to introduce Baltimore students to knowledge and opportunities for rewarding careers in biostatistics. Firstly, the Department will host an undergraduate conference in (bio)statistics for women and underrepresented minorities. The conference program will include undergraduate research presentations as well as panel discussions on attending graduate school and choosing a career in (bio)statistics. While the conference will have national scope, the Department will actively recruit participants from local colleges and universities and fund participation of Baltimore-based students.
Secondly, the Department has become renowned for its massive open online course (“MOOC”) initiatives in which students worldwide can obtain data science and statistics education freely over the internet. The Department is developing a program to introduce Baltimore-based secondary students to statistics through MOOC-supported presentations at their schools.
Biostatistics Diversity Coordinator