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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Biostatistics Branch

Developing statistical methods for epidemiology and collaboration on epidemiology studies

Investigators in the Biostatistics Branch (BB) develop statistical methods and data resources to strengthen observational studies, intervention trials, and laboratory investigations of cancer.

Research Mission

BB's research mission is to contribute to the understanding of cancer etiology and the improvement of public health through the development and application of quantitative methods.  BB investigators frequently serve as consultants on major studies across DCEG.  Learn more about BB research areas.


BB offers opportunities for post-doctoral research in statistical methods for epidemiologic research, genetic epidemiology, and risk assessment, and for projects in analytic and descriptive epidemiology. Post-doctoral fellows also have an opportunity to collaborate on important epidemiologic studies, many of which include molecular and genetic components. Meet our current BB fellows and learn about BB research training opportunities.

Tools and Resources

BB investigators develop statistical and computational tools for epidemiologic and laboratory studies, and distribute those tools to collaborators and the greater scientific community. Learn more about BB tools and resources.


Branch investigators are key participants in large, complex, interdisciplinary studies in collaboration with scientists throughout the NCI and NIH, and with investigators and public health officials at other government agencies and academic and research institutions in the U.S. and abroad. 

BB Highlights

Mitchell H. Gail, M.D., Ph.D., was selected as the 2015 recipient of the American Association for Cancer Research–American Cancer Society Award for Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. Dr. Gail is being recognized for his pioneering statistical work in cancer research and development of cancer risk prediction models, in particular the “Gail model”. Over 2 million users per year access the adapted Gail model via the NCI Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool.

In Spring 2015, Hormuzd A. Katki, Ph.D., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Read more about Dr. Katki's tenure.

Several members of the Biostatistics Branch were included on winning proposals in DCEG's inaugural Informatics Tool Challege. The competitive funding challenge was conceived by DCEG Director Stephen J. Chanock, M.D. “Innovation has always been the hallmark of DCEG’s research approach,” said Dr. Chanock. “The challenge was a new approach for us, and one that I hope will help bring to bear the endless possibilities of our modern technological and informatics environment to further enhance DCEG’s research approach.” Read more about the DCEG Informatics Tool Challenge.