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Resources and Core Facilities

Biostatistics and Informatics

The Biostatistics and Informatics Shared Resource (BISR) plays an essential role in the research activities of The University of Kansas Cancer Center by supporting the data science needs of investigators.

The BISR assists KU Cancer Center members by providing expertise in study design, statistical oversight and analyses, clinical research informatics and data management, electronic data collection, bioinformatics, statistical genomics and investigator-initiated clinical trials. The BISR consists of faculty and staff whose diverse expertise and skill sets span the areas of biostatistics, bioinformatics and informatics. The considerable overlap between these areas allows researchers to work with a single shared resource for all data collection, analytics and statistical analysis needs.

To support the research activities of KU Cancer Center members, the specific aims of this resource are to:

  1. Provide study design and statistical support and expertise
  2. Provide bioinformatics and statistical genetics support and expertise
  3. Provide informatics support for data collection and management
  4. Develop and support ongoing research enabling technologies, platforms and tools
  5. Educate students, fellows and faculty members on data science and reproducible research ideas and methods used in cancer research

Although experimental design and statistics are obvious ways the Biostatistics and Informatics Shared Resource worked with us, I appreciated their willingness to help design optimal methods in which to depict the data, particularly big data. –Danny Welch, cancer center researcher

Support services

    • Investigator-initiated, industry-sponsored and multi-center clinical trials
    • Experimental design and power/sample size calculations
    • Novel trial designs and simulation: fixed and/or adaptive
    • Development of randomization schemes
    • Prospective Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved translational trials in a protocol setting
    • Retrospective studies (laboratory-based or otherwise) with clinical correlations
    • Grant and manuscript preparation
    • Experimental design and power/sample size calculations
    • Statistical analysis and interpretation
    • Data visualization and graphic/figure generation
    • Grant and manuscript preparation
    • Experimental design and power/sample size calculations
    • Array-based platforms (e.g., genotyping, gene expression arrays, DNA methylation, etc.)
    • Preprocessing, quality control and analysis of next-generation sequencing data (e.g., RNA-seq, DNA-seq, miRNA-seq, ChIP-seq, 16S rRNA sequencing, etc.)
    • Data visualization and pathways analyses
    • Access to Ingenuity Pathways Analysis IPATM software
    • High-performance computing for large ‘omic data sets
    • Grant and manuscript preparation
    • Experimental design and power/sample size calculations
    • Development of randomization schemes
    • Statistical analysis, data visualization, and interpretation
    • Grant and manuscript preparation
    • Case report form building
    • CRF Part 11 compliance certified Clinical Trials Management System (called CRIS)
    • Data acquisition, governance and engineering
    • Custom database creation
    • Machine learning and data mining support
    • Development of systems for smart patient screening techniques for clinical trials
    • Development of visualizations that aid in prioritizing action items for cancer center
    • Grant and manuscript preparation

Contact us

Biostatistics and Informatics co-director Byron Gajewski.

Byron Gajewski, PhD, Biostatistics and Informatics co-director

Biostatistics and Informatics co-director Devin Koestler.

Devin Koestler, PhD, Biostatistics and Informatics co-director

Request our services

Engage the Biostatistics and Informatics Shared Resource on your project. Submit your service request.

Pricing inquiries should be directed to Megan Tremblay, project manager. All other questions concerning the BISR can be directed to Drs. Gajewski and Koestler.

The BISR may decline requests that arrive too close to the deadline. Please also consider that more complex designs or analyses will require more time.

View Biostatistics and Informatics brochure

Biostatistics group.

Research highlights

  • This pilot study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility and effects on risk biomarkers for postmenopausal breast cancer after 6 months of treatment with tissue-selective estrogen complex bazedoxifene and conjugated estrogen (Duavee). The BISR participated in the design and analysis of genomic data collected, which included conducting an unsupervised model-based clustering analysis to cluster participants based on how their expression signatures changed from baseline to post-intervention, along with follow-up analyses aimed at identifying patient-level clinical features that associated with cluster membership.

    The results of the study showed significant changes in risk biomarkers for postmenopausal breast cancer, as well as a decrease in reported hot flashes. Learn more.

  • A clinical study conducted by researchers at The University of Kansas Cancer Center sheds light on the unique challenges African American smokers encounter when trying to quit tobacco. Over the course of a 5-year study, the research team enrolled about 450 socioeconomically disadvantaged African American and white smokers who were interested in quitting. Study results suggested that lower quit rates were not due to race or biological differences in nicotine metabolism; rather, the race difference was explained by socioeconomic factors, such as home ownership, income and neighborhood problems, as well as smoking and treatment process factors. These findings were among the first to illuminate why African American smokers have a harder time quitting smoking, and these learnings can help develop tailored and more effective tobacco cessation treatments. The BISR provided support for the design of this study, statistical analysis and interpretation of study findings. Learn more.

  • Data used to determine patient eligibility for cancer clinical trials often come from disparate sources typically maintained by different groups within an institution, use differing technologies and are stored in different formats. Collecting data and resolving inconsistencies across sources increase the time it takes to screen eligible patients, potentially delaying study completion. To address these challenges, the BISR at The University of Kansas Cancer Center developed the Curated Cancer Clinical Outcomes Database, also called C3OD. The database merges data from the electronic health record, tumor registry, biospecimen and data registry, and allows querying through a single unified platform. By centralizing access and maintaining appropriate controls, C3OD allows researchers to more rapidly obtain detailed information about each patient, and in doing so, has the potential to accelerate eligibility screening. Some specific examples of use cases of C3OD include: prescreening, projection, retrospective studies, linking to biospecimens and aid preventative health studies. Learn more.

Community outreach

The BISR is plugged into the Community Outreach component of KU Cancer Center’s NCI designation. For example, the BISR has helped build the cancer center’s Data Commonwealth, which enhances data acquisition, data engineering, data science and software development to facilitate research in our unique catchment area of Kansas and western Missouri.

One of the BISR’s ongoing initiatives in the area of Community Outreach involves the development of a database for Organizing and Prioritizing Trends to Inform KU Cancer Center researchers (OPTIK). This database consolidates demographic, cancer risk factor, and incidence rate data into a single system that allows cancer center members to visualize the data across the cancer center’s catchment area. The goal is that OPTIK will assist in prioritizing KU Cancer Center research activities that meet the needs of the catchment area. Additionally, BISR develops novel clinical trial design and simulation works. Two examples include a telephone-based smoking cessation program culturally tailored to American Indians and an adaptive intervention to maximize colorectal screening in safety net populations.

Cite the cancer center support grant

This resource is funded by The University of Kansas Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) awarded by the National Cancer Institute (P30 CA168524). Publications that have utilized facility resources, services or scientific data generated by the resource should acknowledge the resource and cite the NCI CCSG grant.

Become a cancer
center member.

Gain access to a network for researchers and members-only grant opportunities. Become a member of The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

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