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New Research Groups Created in Department of Biostatistical Sciences at WFUSM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Three new research groups have been organized in the 100-member Department of Biostatistical Sciences, which was established earlier this year as part of the Division of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The new units are the Section on Biostatistics, headed by Greg W. Evans, M.S., the Section on Statistical Genetics and Bioinformatics, headed by Carl D. Langefeld, Ph.D., and the Research Information Systems Unit, directed by Scott D. Rushing, B.S.

Mark A. Espeland, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Biostatistical Sciences said, “These new groups define our department’s focus and are key components of the Medical Center’s research enterprise. We are fortunate to have dynamic and talented leaders who are committed to excellence and public health.”

Researchers in the Section on Biostatistics develop more powerful and efficient methods for analyzing data and collaborate with investigators to improve study designs and to conduct and interpret findings from medical research.

Researchers in the Section on Statistical Genetics and Bioinformatics create methods to better understand data from large databases, such as those arising from genetic, proteomic and biomedical imaging studies.

The Research Information Systems Unit develops improved methods for collecting, managing and integrating research databases using emerging computer technology.

In addition, each group teaches and advises students.

Evans, an assistant professor, trained at the University of Missouri at Columbia and Florida State University and has been on the faculty of the School of Medicine for 17 years. His research focuses on analytical methods related to medical imaging, cardiovascular disease, and longitudinal data.

Langefeld, an associate professor, trained at Concordia University, the University of Nebraska, Florida State University, and the University of Michigan. His research interests include statistical genetics, and finding genes that predispose people to diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lupus.

Rushing trained at High Point University and has led the research computing group at the School of Medicine for seven years. He is a nationally known expert in the development of data management systems for multi-center studies.

The Department of Biostatistical Sciences is the largest component of the Division of Public Health Sciences, which ranks first in the country in obtaining federal funding for biomedical research among all similar groups.

Members of the department collaborate on projects with researchers from many fields within the School of Medicine. In addition, they provide expertise in data analysis, data management, and logistics for many large national and international research projects.

“Our disciplines and intellectual curiosity allow us to team with researchers in many fields of research, and have enabled our division to become a national leader in coordinating large multi-center studies,” Espeland said..

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Media Contacts: Robert Conn, rconn@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 18th in family medicine, 20th in geriatrics, 25th in primary care and 41st in research among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 32nd in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.

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