Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Karan P. Singh, Ph.D. – Director

Sejong Bae, Ph.D. – Co-Director

Contact: (205) 934-6887 or (205) 975-5121



Our mission is to provide outstanding biostatistics and bioinformatics leadership and support for the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) and act as the hub that facilitates the interaction between the various CCC investigators and the CCC shared facilities. This includes participation in project development and management meetings with cancer center program leaders and other shared facility directors, in addition to providing assistance and direction in experimental design, data systems, quality control and statistical data analysis through consultation and collaboration.

Facility Description

The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility (BBSF) joined forces with the Division of Preventive Medicine (DOPM) in August 2008. As a result, we now have full access to the DOPM research infrastructure and the faculty is now a part of DOPM’s methodology section, which includes 13 doctoral-level biostatisticians and epidemiologists. With these expanded resources available to us we are able to create teams, scaled to the size of the projects, to provide broader input and backup.  The number of funded faculty statisticians on any project will vary with the size of the project; however, the faculty team assembled to develop the statistical plan will consist of up to 5 members, which would usually include a mixture of junior and senior faculty statisticians and a faculty bioinformatician if required by the project.

Research Information

Data, Information, Statistics Core (DISC). DISC is a central component of the Division’s research infrastructure.  It includes a team of faculty biostatisticians, Information Systems (IS), Data Management (DM) and Statistical Computing (SC) Units, all with a focus on data security and quality assurance.

Data Operations (DO). The function of this unit is to receive data from investigators and field sites, perform data entry as needed, edit data and resolve any problems and create datasets that can be readily extracted for statistical analyses. All work is done in accordance with HIPAA, NIH security guidelines and FDA requirements as appropriate.

Information Systems (IS). The IS Unit provides database systems and other application programming support for the BBSF and DOPM.  This group includes 6 staff members who develop and maintain several complex database systems and resolve ongoing operational issues for existing systems.

Statistical Computing (SC). The SC unit includes 6 master’s level statisticians that provide statistical computing support for the BBSF and DOPM.  These staff work closely with and provide support for the faculty biostatisticians.

Information Technology (IT). In addition to DISC, there is a good infrastructure for IT. The IT Unit provides network operations and helpdesk support for BBSF and DOPM. The staff of IT builds, deploys and manages applications written in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET using Microsoft Team Foundation Server and assist with design, testing, deployment and maintenance for a complete programming life cycle. The team is also responsible for storage, archiving, security and retrieval of all study-related data.

Services and Fees

We have the experience and capacity to assist with:

–Developing and refining research questions

–Selecting the most suitable study design

–Developing a statistical analysis plan

–Developing and testing of data collection instruments

–Bioinformatics as in design of Data management systems

–Data receipt, management, and long term storage

–Developing and implementing quality assurance plans

–Designing and generating operational, data quality, and study outcome data reports for scientific presentations and publications

–Bioinformatics as in hi-dimensional data analysis e.g., Microarray and Proteomics data analysis

In order to provide outstanding support in an environment of rapidly emerging and expanding technologies, we continue to develop:

–New statistical methodologies

–New information technology and approaches to databases

–New approaches to quality assurance programs

–More efficient procedures for incorporating the results of statistical analyses into reports, presentations and publications

–More efficient and cost effective systems for long term data storage, backup, and retrieval


Funding Mechanism for Our Service

  • Budgeted on grants as % FTE
  • All investigators are entitled to receive a limited number of hours per year. Usage beyond the free consultation hours may be charged on an hourly rate.
  • Database development, management, and analysis will be available through BBSF on a fee for service basis.

Contact Information:

Director:  Karan P. Singh, Ph.D.


Co-Director: Sejong Bae, Ph.D.


Phone: (205) 934-6887 or (205) 975-5121

You may also send requests for support by using the following:

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