Advancing public health and medicine, using best practices and comprehensive biostatistics and data science expertise, through consulting and education
Since its inception in 1997, the Johns Hopkins Biostatistics Center (JHBC) has been the practice arm of the nationally-leading Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics. JHBC is primarily composed of PhD/Senior and MS level biostaticians and data managers/programmers at the ranks from Research Associate to Associate Scientist (non-tenure track Associate Professor). It has collaborated with researchers within the Johns Hopkins Medical institutions as well as other academic research centers, health research organizations, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies to enhance the quality, integrity and validity of their research. Read more about JHBC.
JHBC has supported clinical trials (including as a data coordinating center and for DSMB reporting) and observational studies. It has extensive expertise in standard biostatistics methods, such as power analysis and sampling methods, multivariable generalized linear, longitudinal, multi-level and hierarchical modeling, time-to-event methods (such as Cox regression with time-varying covariates, discrete survival analysis methods, parametric models), confounding adjustment (stratification, regression, propensity scores), and instrument development, validation and reliability. Other, more advanced levels in our portfolio include: data management and analysis of large electronic medical record databases, complex surveys, Bayesian methods, data mining, latent variable modeling (including factor analysis, structural equation modeling) and multiple imputation with chained equations and inverse probability weighting for analysis of missing data.
JHBC is a non-profit service center within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is directly responsible to the Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Dr. Karen Bandeen-Roche. A steering committee provides operational oversight for JHBC and includes department faculty who serve on a rotating basis:
- Karen Bandeen-Roche, PhD, Hurley-Dorrier Professor, Committee Chair
- Elizabeth Colantuoni, PhD, Associate Scientist
- Michael Rosenblum, PhD, Associate Professor
- John Muschelli, PhD, Associate Scientist
- James Tonascia, PhD, Professor
- Scott Zeger, PhD, Professor
1997-2005: Scott Zeger, PhD
JHBC was created with two goals in mind: to ensure that Johns Hopkins faculty and student scientists could access high quality statistical consultation in a timely fashion, and to disseminate the Department of Biostatistics innovation with external customers. In 1997, Dr. Frank Hurley, Department of Biostatistics alumnus, worked with Professor Scott Zeger, JHBC's first Executive Director, to develop the approach for establishing the center including: how to work with researchers, build computing and database infrastructure, and administer and bill for services.
In its early years, the vast majority of JHBC's users were students and faculty from the Schools of Public Health, Medicine and Nursing. Students mainly sought answers to statistical questions for their theses, and at the suggestion of Elizabeth (Johnson) Colantuoni, a free Friday clinic was initiated to provide this support. Faculty came for design and analysis advice when writing grants, which was also provided as a free service. Other faculty were in the middle of studies and asked for data analysis support that was funded by their grants.
In the early years, JHBC had three prominent external clients. The States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Maryland and the U.S. Department of Justice hired JHBC to support their suits against the tobacco industry. Professor Scott Zeger, then student Elizabeth Colantuoni, and alumnus Timothy Wyant served as experts for the plaintiffs in these suits, and provided analyses of the National Medical Expenditure Survey data to estimate the costs of treating major smoking-caused diseases.
Over a 5-year period in the 1990s, Jannsen Pharmaceutical hired many Johns Hopkins Biostatistics faculty, led by Professor Kung-Yee Liang, to consult with them about the design and analyses of longitudinal studies to test treatments for depression, cancer and other diseases. In a typical year, the faculty and students would review Jannsen research protocols, design one or two short-courses on novel methods and deliver them to audiences of statisticians and clinical investigators at Jannsen.
Finally, in the 1990s, JHBC started providing faculty salary equity analyses to Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health and Medicine. Work with these and other Hopkins groups continues today, including follow up on dissertation work relating to novel methods for this type of analysis.
2005-2008: Michael Griswold, PhD
In 2005, Dr. Michael Griswold, who received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics, became the second Executive Director. JHBC started growing its staff with a small cohort of biostatistical consultants and PhD candidates to provide support for an increase in Hopkins researchers and external clients. In 2007, JHBC became part of the network supporting Johns Hopkins' first 5-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This grant allowed JHBC to provide additional free statistical support for Hopkins' researchers in the areas of study design, grant preparation, analysis and manuscript preparation. Work with faculty salary equity studies continued for Hopkins' schools and other clients.
2008-2015: Richard Thompson, PhD
In 2008, Dr. Richard Thompson transitioned from the position of Associate Director to interim Executive Director and was subsequently named the Executive Director in 2010. Under his leadership, JHBC's faculty and staff increased over twofold to 10 FTEs. Dr. Thompson helped establish the ScM internship, a program that over five years provided an opportunity for the Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics top ScM graduate students to train as biostatistical consultants while completing their didactic course work. Dr. Thompson was instrumental in creating the Data Informatics Services Core (DISC), JHBC's data management arm. Through DISC, JHBC was one of the first organizations within the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions to support the use of REDCap for data collection and management. The Wilmer Biostatistics Core was initiated in collaboration with the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology to provide statistical support to clinicians conducting research on eye disease. In 2013, Dr. Thompson and JHBC were awarded a $2 million U01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide data management and statistical support for the Minimally-Invasive Surgery Plus rt-PA for Intracerebral Hemorrhage Evacuation (MISTIE) study, a multi-center, Phase III clinical trial designed to test a novel neurosurgical intervention for the treatment of hemorrhagic stroke. This award was the first time JHBC had received direct NIH funding to serve as the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) in support of a major clinical trial. JHBC continued to provide biostatistical support to Johns Hopkins' researchers under the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) renewal. The biostatistics program, under Hopkins' Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), included courses and training, faculty and staff walk-in clinics, and grant reviews. In 2015, a community of Johns Hopkins biostatisticians was developed in partnership with the Department of Biostatistics.
2015-Present: Gayane Yenokyan, MD MPH PhD
In 2015, Dr. Gayane Yenokyan transitioned from the position of JHBC Associate Director to interim Executive Director. In 2017, Dr. Yenokyan became JHBC's fourth Executive Director. Under her leadership, JHBC continues with the initiatives established under the previous directors, such as the NIH-funded Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) programs and equity analyses. Dr. Yenokyan continues to foster and develop collaborations between JHBC and Hopkins' researchers and with external opportunities, and to enhance the faculty of JHBC that provide these services. Read more of the message from Dr. Yenokyan.
Research collaboration is based on a set of mutually-shared values between the researcher, biostatisticians and data managers, one of which is ethical statistical practice. We abide by the ethical principles and guidelines for statistical practice as described by the American Statistical Association.