The Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology conducts a program of teaching and research in statistical methodology oriented toward the health sciences and in statistical theory and stochastic modeling growing out of research in the health sciences. The department has recently expanded to include a unit devoted to methodological and collaborative research in the rapidly emerging area of computational biology, as well as a unit devoted to biocomputing and modeling for clinical studies. The department has expertise in virtually all fields of modern theoretical and applied statistics.
Faculty of the department have played major roles in important breakthroughs in medical research at Rochester. Examples include the better understanding of the role of calcium channel blockers in treating patients who have had a heart attack, demonstration of both the clinical effectiveness and the cost effectiveness of implantable defibrillators in reducing mortality among certain heart disease patients, demonstration of the effectiveness of deprenyl in slowing onset of disability in early Parkinson’s disease, and of surfactant therapy for respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants, and an ongoing epidemiologic study of the assessment of the effects of low levels of dietary mercury intake on childhood development.