By Karen Kesler, Ph.D.
The thing I love most about statistics is that it helps solve problems. And working in clinical research, there are always problems to solve. In order to improve people’s health, we push the boundaries of questions we can answer, using fewer patients and more powerful analyses.
Biostatisticians in clinical research work with a team of other experts to design and analyze studies. Initially, biostatisticians help choose a design for the study, formalize the outcomes and hypotheses, and decide what analysis should be done. During the study, there are reports and unexpected problems (e.g., “I gave the patient a different therapy than the randomization indicated; how should we handle this?”).