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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

In the Fall of 2015, Dr. Orestis Panagiotou, PhD was selected to receive the Kuan-teh Jeang Scholar Award from the NIH Virology Interest Group (VIG). Dr. Panagiotou’s abstract was entitled “Effect of bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on pregnancy outcomes: long-term observational follow-up in the Costa Rica HPV Vaccine Trial.” He presented his poster based on this abstract today at the NIH Research Festival. Dr. Panagiotou received a special certificate of recognition from a member of the VIG at yesterday's FARE Award Ceremony in Masur Auditorium.

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.