Biostatistics Core


Director: Jason Liao, Ph.D.
Phone: 717-531-6691


Biostatistician: Jay Zhu, Ph.D.
Phone: 717-531-1509

Biostatistician: Arthur Berg, Ph.D.
Phone: 717-531-3039

Biostatistician: Chengwu Yang, M.D., Ph.D.
Phone: 717-531-3016


The mission of the Biostatistics Core is to provide high quality biostatistics support in the design and data analysis for members of the Penn State Cancer Institute. We collaborate in the full spectrum of cancer research from basic science to translational research to clinical trials to cancer prevention.

Biostatistics support includes:

  • Choose the optimal design that answers the research questions most efficiently and directly. Determine power and sample size.
  • Select the most reliable and relevant endpoints and measurements for a particular study.
  • Perform expert data analysis that fully utilizes the information in the data. Ensure data integrity and state-of-the-art data analysis practices.
  • Ensure that study results are accurately and effectively communicated in manuscripts and scientific presentations.
  • Provide input in design and analysis in “brainstorm” meetings with investigators to develop new research initiatives.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Design and analysis of clinical trials from Phase 1 to Phase 3.
  • Survival data analysis.
  • Longitudinal data, hierarchical models, and mixed effects regression.
  • Prediction models for cancer risk, treatment response and prognostics. Statistical methods in personalized medicine.
  • Microarray gene expression data. Multiple testing.
  • Design and analysis of population and epidemiological studies.
  • Statistics methods in social and behavioral research.

The Core currently supports the following three statistical packages:

  • SAS
  • Stata

We work with investigators in two ways. One is as biostatistician and co-investigator in funded projects or in developing new research proposals.  Second, we provide free consulting and data analysis service to Cancer Institute members for smaller unfunded projects (each member is limited to 30 hours of free support per year). In addition, we serve on Scientific Review Committee and Data Safety and Monitoring Committee and participate in training of Cancer Institute's fellow.

Please contact us for your biostatistics needs. Contact the core director, Jason Liao, for all new projects/grant applications.