Dr. Dean Billheimer, IHS Co-Director and leader of the Statistics/Bioinformatics Resource, discusses the challenges of integrating biostatistics and bioinformatic support within  translational research, and novel approaches taken by the IHS at the SWEHSC.




The Statistics/Bioinformatics Resource assists environmental health investigators in study planning and design, data quality assurance and monitoring, statistical and bioinformatics data analysis, and interpretation and presentation of results.  We assist with grant proposal development, as well as the analysis of previously collected data.  Our goal is to build collaborative research partnerships between quantitative scientists and environmental health investigators.  Long-term collaborative research allows SBR staff to gain substantive disciplinary knowledge and an understanding of the pertinent measurement methods.  This knowledge improves selection and development of statistical methods to address research problems, and encourages the development of novel statistical designs and methods that lead to more efficient research.  Working in conjunction with the Human Subjects Resource, the SBR provides expertise spanning the gamut of needs from laboratory investigations to large-scale human studies. Assistance is provided in the following areas.

Study Design

  Define study objectives and endpoints, analyze pilot data, and select appropriate designs and   sample sizes.

Study Conduct

  Ensure that high quality laboratory, clinical, and population-based data are collected in a timely fashion. Develop data quality assurance checks to ensure data integrity.

Data Management and Quality Assurance

  In collaboration with Human Subjects Resource, design and implement information storage and   retrieval systems, facilitate data collection, and ensure data security and integrity.

Data Analysis

  Create descriptive numerical and graphical summaries, choose, perform, and evaluate appropriate   statistical procedures. When required by the needs of specific projects, we will develop new analysis methods to address emergent problems.

Results Reporting

  Author/co-author statistical methods and results sections for publications, provide high-quality   graphical summaries of results.

Nathan Cherrington, PhD talks about an exciting clinical translation project assisted by IHS statisticians Dr. Dean Billheimer and Dr. James Lu.





Option 1:  If you want financial support for your project and to benefit from the Project Consult (See Below) system, you must complete a Project Assistance Form. 

Option 2:  You can contact SBR leader Dr. Dean Billheimer by calling (520) 626-9902 or click here to send him an email.


PROJECT CONSULT : The IHS Pathway to Project Support

The SBR has developed a structured approach to providing assistance for projects receiving subsidized support, to ensure that the best delivery of support results in successful research outcomes.  To learn more about the Project Consult process click here.


LEADERSHIPIHS Co-Director Dean Billheimer

The SBR is led by IHS Co-Director Dean Billheimer, Ph.D.  Dr. Billheimer is Associate Professor of Biometry and Public Health at the University of Arizona, and Director of the University’s Statistics Consulting Laboratory.  He has broad statistical research and consulting experience in environmental science, the aerospace industry, and biomedicine. While at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Billheimer was Co-Director/member of the Biostatistics Cores for three NCI-funded Cancer SPORE grants and the Director of the Vanderbilt High-Dimensional Data Analysis Center. Dr. Billheimer’s biomedical collaborations include numerous laboratory, translational, and clinical research projects, assisting investigators in the development of clinical research protocols, the analysis of complex data sets, and biomarker discovery and development. Dr. Billheimer has extensive experience in the development and application of novel analysis methods to high-dimensional parameter problems, especially in mass spectrometry-based proteomics. His current research interests include the statistical evaluation of measurement systems, theory of normalization, and analysis methods for compositional data.  Dr. Billheimer’s leadership in the core brings an emphasis on sound study design and data analysis to the translational research projects supported by the IHS.


Graduate student describes translational research she is performing on human liver samples, with the assistance of Bionformatics support from Dr. Dean Billheimer and Dr. Petr Novak.