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<p>The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has approved a Ph.D. degree program in biostatistics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).</p>

IUPUI’s Newest Ph.D. Program at the Interface between Statistics and the Life Sciences

The program, which is unique to Indiana and leads to a degree from Indiana University, is a collaboration of the Department of Mathematical Sciences in the School of Science and the Division of Biostatistics in the IU School of Medicine.

As Indiana emerges as a national leader in high tech and life sciences business, the demand for highly qualified biostatisticians will grow. According to Benzion Boukai, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, extensive biostatistics expertise is essential to support researchers working at the forefront of the life sciences.

“To analyze large volumes of data, life scientists need statisticians to organize and process the data. Biostatistics is a fundamental scientific component of almost all research and development in the life sciences.”

“The biostatistics Ph.D. will increase the state’s pool of talented, highly-skilled professionals who will lead the life sciences economy, and it will enhance collaborative research among the various health and life sciences units at IUPUI,” said Boukai.

The program combines strength in statistical theory of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, which offers a successful master’s degree in applied statistics, with the biostatistical methods research and life sciences experience of the Division of Biostatistics. According to Barry Katz, professor and director of the Division of Biostatistics, this partnership perfectly combines all elements required to produce well-qualified biostatisticians. They will acquire the necessary statistical skills and biomedical experience to successfully enter careers in industry or academia.

The creation of this program aligns with IUPUI’s mission in the health and life sciences and is generating significant interest within Indiana’s life sciences community,” said Katz.

“The implementation of this program illustrates what can be accomplished at IUPUI through a strong partnership between the health and non-health divisions,” said Bart Ng, acting dean of the School of Science.

“Indianapolis boasts a wealth of academic and industry assets in the life sciences, and the city is uniquely situated to meet the growing need for highly-qualified biostatisticians.”

The program will consist of a minimum of 90 credit hours, split between a common set of core courses, a group of elective courses, a minor area and dissertation research. The minor specialization may be obtained in an area of health or life sciences, such as pharmacology and toxicology, epidemiology, genetics, biology, physiology, bioinformatics, public health and health economics, among many others.