Biostatistics Courses

M21 503 STATISTICAL COMPUTING WITH SAS®
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: Karen Schwander
Credit hours: 2 units
Frequency: Every summer
Intensive hands-on summer training in SAS® during nine full weekdays. Students will learn how to use the SAS® system for handling, managing and analyzing data. Instruction is provided in the use of the SAS® programming language, procedures, macros and SAS® SQL. The course will include exercises using existing programs written by SAS® experts. Instruction manual and computer lab will be provided. This course meets the prerequisite for M21 560 Biostatistics I offered in fall. The registration/grade option of “Audit” is not available.
Participants are required to participate in the Computing/Unix Workshop offered free of charge immediately prior to this course in early July.

For details, to register and to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 506 R PRIMER
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course master: Yun Ju Sung
Credit hours: 2 units
Frequency: Every summer
This is an introduction to the R Statistical Environment for new users. R is “a freely available language and environment for statistical computing and graphics which provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques: linear and nonlinear modeling, statistical tests, time series analysis, classification, clustering, etc. The goal is to give students a set of tools to perform statistical analysis in medicine, biology, or epidemiology. At the conclusion of this primer, students will: be able to manipulate and analyze data, write basic models, understand the R environment for using packages, and create standard or customized graphics. This primer assumes some knowledge of basic statistics as taught in a first semester undergraduate or graduate sequence. Topics should include: probability, cross-tabulation, basic statistical summaries, and linear regression in either scalar or matrix form.
For details, to register and to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 515 FUNDAMENTALS OF GENETIC EPIDEMIOLOGY
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: Treva Rice and Yun Ju Sung
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every summer
Intensive two-week summer course. Lectures cover causes of phenotypic variation, familial resemblance and heritability, Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium, ascertainment, study designs and basic concepts in genetic segregation, linkage and association. The computer laboratory portion is designed as hands-on practice of fundamental concepts. Students will gain practical experience with various genetics computer programs (e.g., SOLAR, MERLIN, QTDT and PLINK). Auditors will not have access to the computer lab sessions.

Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the computing/UNIX Workshop offered free of charge prior to this course in early July. For details, to register and to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 550 INTRODUCTION TO BIOINFORMATICS
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course master: C.Charles Gu, Co-Coursemaster: Jingqin (Rosy) Luo
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every summer
Intensive two-week summer course designed to provide broad exposure to the basic concepts, methodology and application of bioinformatics to solve biomedical problems. Specifically, students will learn the basics of online genomic databases and database mining tools and will acquire understanding of mathematical algorithms in genome sequence analysis (alignment analysis, gene finding/predicting), gene expression microarray (genechip) analysis, and the impact of recent developments such as protein microarrays or whole-genome DNA chips for genome-wide association studies. Students will also take computer labs and learn basics of bioinformatics tools and databases (BLAST/WUBLAST, Prospector, etc.), practice basics of R/Bioconductor programming, and apply specialized R packages to solve bioinformatics problems pertinent to real medical research of human diseases. Auditors will not have access to the computer lab sessions.

Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the computing/UNIX Workshop offered free of charge prior to this course in early July. Prerequisite: M21 506, R Primer.

For details, to register and to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 5483 HUMAN LINKAGE AND ASSOCIATION ANALYSIS
Department: Department of Genetics
Course master: John Rice
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every fall
Basic genetic concepts: meiosis, inheritance, Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium, linkage, segregation analysis; Linkage analysis: definition, crossing over, map functions, phase, LOD scores, penetrance, phenocopies, liability classes, multipoint analysis, non-parametric analysis (sibpairs and pedigrees), quantitative trait analysis, determination of power for mendelian and complex trait analysis; linkage disequilibrium analyses: allelic association (case control designs and family bases studies), QQ and Manhattan plots, whole genome association analysis; population stratification; quantitative trait analysis; measured genotypes and variance components. Hands-on computer lab experience doing parametric linkage analysis with the program LINKAGE, model free linkage analyses with Genehunter and Merlin, power computations with SLINK, quantitative trait analyses with SOLAR, LD computations with Haploview and WGAViewer, and family-based and case-control association analyses with PLINK and SAS. The methods and exercises are coordinated with the lectures, and students are expected to understand underlying assumptions and limitations and the basic calculations performed by these computer programs. Auditors will not have access to the computer lab sessions. Prerequisite: M21 515 Fundamentals of Genetic Epidemiology. Cross-listed as L41 5483.

For details, to register and to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 560 BIOSTATISTICS I
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: Kenneth Schechtman and Kathryn Trinkaus
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every fall (ending mid-October)
This course is designed for students who want to develop a working knowledge of basic methods in biostatistics. The course is focused on biostatistical and epidemiological concepts and on practical hints and hands-on approaches to data analysis rather than on details of the theoretical methods. We will cover basic concepts in hypothesis testing, will introduce students to several of the most widely used probability distributions, and will discuss classical statistical methods that include t-tests, chi-square tests, regression analysis, and analysis of variance. Both in-class examples and homework assignments will involve extensive use of SAS. Prerequisite: M21 503, Statistical Computing with SAS®, or student must have good practical experience with SAS®.

For details, to register and/or to obtain the required permission of the Course Master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 570 BIOSTATISTICS II
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: Kenneth Schechtman and Kathryn Trinkaus
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every fall (from mid-October to mid-December)
This course is designed for students who have taken Biostatistics I or the equivalent and who want to extend their knowledge of biostatistical applications to more modern and more advanced methods. Biostatistical methods to be discussed include logistic and Poisson regression, survival analysis, Cox regression analysis, and several methods for analyzing longitudinal data. Students will be introduced to modern topics that include statistical genetics and bioinformatics. The course will also discuss clinical trial design, the practicalities of sample size and power computation and meta analysis, and will ask students to read journal articles with a view towards encouraging a critical reading of the medical literature. Both in-class examples and homework assignments will involve extensive use of SAS. Prerequisite: M21 560, Biostatistics I or its equivalent as judged by the course masters.

For details, to register, and/or to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 617 STUDY DESIGN AND CLINICAL TRIALS
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: Jingxia (Esther) Liu
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every spring
The course will focus on statistical and epidemiological concepts of study design and clinical trials. Topics include: different phases of clinical trials, various types of medical studies (observational studies, retrospective studies, adaptive designs, and comparative effectiveness research), and power analysis. Study management and ethical issues are also addressed. Students will be expected to do homework and to practice power analysis during lab sessions. Prerequisites: M21 560 Biostatistics I and M21 570 Biostatistics II. Permission of the course master required.

For details, to register, and/or to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 512 ETHICS FOR BIOSTATISTICS
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course master: Alison Antes

Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every spring
This course prepares biostatisticians to analyze and address ethical and professional issues in the practice of biostatistics across the range of professional roles and responsibilities of a biostatistician. The primary goals are for biostatisticians to recognize complex situational dynamics and ethical issues in their work and to develop professional and ethical problem-solving skills. The course specifically examines ethical challenges related to research design, data collection, data management, ownership, security, and sharing, data analysis and interpretation, and data reporting and provides practical guidance on these issues. The course also examines fundamentals of the broader research environment in which biostatisticians work, including principles of ethics in human subjects and animal research, regulatory and compliance issues in biomedical research, publication and authorship, and collaboration in science. By the conclusion of the course, participants will understand the ethical and regulatory context of biomedical research; identify ethical issues, including situational dynamics that serve to foster or hinder research integrity, in the design and conduct of research and the management, analysis, and reporting of data; and utilize strategies that facilitate ethical problem-solving and professionalism.

For details, to register, and/or to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 618 SURVIVAL ANALYSIS
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: Ling Chen
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every spring
This course will cover the basic applied and theoretical aspects of models to analyze time-to-event data. Basic concepts will be introduced including the hazard function, survival function, right censoring, and the Cox-proportional hazards (PH) model with fixed and time dependent covariates. Additional topics will include regression diagnostics for survival models, the stratified PH model, additive hazards regression models and multivariate survival models. Prerequisites: Calculus I and II, M21-560 Biostatistics I and M21-570 Biostatistics II. Permission of the course master required.

For details, to register, and/or to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 621 COMPUTATIONAL STATISTICAL GENETICS
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: Michael Province and Aldi Kraja
Credit hours: 3 units
Frequency: Every spring
This course covers the theory and application of both classical and advanced algorithms for estimating parameters and testing genomic hypotheses connecting genotype to phenotype. Students learn the key methods by writing their own program to do (simplified) linkage analysis in pedigrees in SAS for a simulated dataset provided by the coursemaster. Topics covered in the course include Maximum Likelihood theory for pedigrees and unrelated individuals, Maximization routines such as Newton-Raphson and the E-M Algorithm, Path analysis, Variance components, Mixed model algorithms, the Elston-Stewart and Lander-Green Algorithms, Simulated Annealing and the Metropolis Hastings algorithm, Bayesian and MCMC methods, Hidden Markov Models, Coalescent Theory, Haplotyping Algorithms, Genetic Imputation Algorithms, Permutation/Randomization Tests, classification and Data Mining Algorithms, Population Stratification and Admixture Mapping Methods, Loss of Heterozygosity models, Gene Networks, Copy Number Variation methods, Multiple comparisons corrections and Power and Monte-carlo simulation experiments. Course not available to auditors. Prerequisites: M21 5483 Human Linkage & Association, M21 560 Biostatistics I, and M21 570 Biostatistics II or, with permission

For details, to register, and/or to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 600 MENTORED RESEARCH
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: DC Rao and Chengjie Xiong
Credit hours: 6 units
Frequency: Every spring, summer and fall
Student undertakes supervised research in a mentor’s lab. The goal is to acquire important research skills as well as good writing and presentation skills. The student finds a mentor who is willing to work with him/her and they together identify a research topic. A written thesis based on the research, prepared in the format of an actual scientific publication, must be submitted and presented to a select audience. The course masters will organize a few meetings throughout to facilitate the whole process. The course masters will determine the grade (pass/fail) in consultation with the mentors. Permission of the Course Masters is required.

For details, to register, and/or to obtain the required permission of the course master, contact the MSIBS Program Manager: biostat-msibs@email.wustl.edu or (314) 362-1384.

M21 630 INTERNSHIP
Department: Division of Biostatistics
Course masters: D.C. Rao and J. Philip Miller
Credit hours: 3 or 6 units
Frequency: Every summer
The primary goal of the Internship program is for all students to acquire critical professional experience so that they will be well prepared to enter the job market upon graduation. This provides an opportunity for students to test-drive the job market, develop contacts, build marketable skills and perceive likes and dislikes in the chosen field. Students are required to spend a total of 440 hours in the laboratories of their chosen mentors. One of two types of projects may be pursued as part of the Internship experience. A student may elect to pursue a “Data Analysis Project” involving data management and extensive analyses of data which may lead to a publication-quality manuscript (possibly earning co-authorship for the student). Alternatively, a student may choose a highly focused research-oriented project and carry out “Mentored Research” by working closely with the mentor. In this case, the student will assist the mentor by preparing a publication-quality manuscript as part of the Internship. In either case, as part of the Internship requirements, each student will submit a one-page abstract of the work performed as part of the internship and will give a 5-minute presentation of the Internship experience. Internship presentations will be scheduled in late summer. The grade for each student will be determined in consultation with the mentor. Internships will be facilitated and coordinated by an Internship Committee consisting of professors J. Philip Miller & D.C. Rao (Co-Chairs), Ken Schechtman and Chengjie Xiong. Available to Master of Science in Biostatistics (MSIBS) students only.