Biostatistics Shared Resource Core (BSR)

BSR is composed of a group of experienced faculty and dedicated staff whose mission is to provide outstanding statistical and analytic support of University of Illinois Cancer Center research projects across its three research programs (Cancer Biology, Translational Oncology, and Cancer Prevention & Control).

BSR provides University of Illinois Cancer Center members comprehensive biostatistical services and fosters collaborations in a way that maximizes research impact.

Email Nelson Chen at [email protected] to Request Services from BSR

In February 2020, the Biostatistics Shared Resource Core (BSR) of University of Illinois Cancer Center was established under the direction of Zhengjia (Nelson) Chen, PhD. BSC is composed of a group of faculty and dedicated staff.

Who We Are

The BSR plays a pivotal role in the success of research at the University of Illinois Cancer Center by providing state-of-the-art biostatistics services. 

We work with all Cancer Center members and participate in research across our three research programs — Cancer Biology, Translational Oncology, and Cancer Prevention & Control. Working together as partners, the BSR collaborates and consults with investigators in design, conduct, and analysis of cancer-related clinical, preclinical, epidemiological, and community-based research. These collaborations lead to the development and application of innovative statistical methodology and summarization of results to address cancer research. They also allow us to facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical trials and to disseminate new knowledge that supports the planning of new collaborative research projects.

By providing biostatistics services within one shared resource, the BSR offers University of Illinois Cancer Center investigators a single point of collaboration during all stages of their research.

Education and Training

An important component of the BSR is supporting the University of Illinois Cancer Center’s education mission. 

We provide journal clubs, training workshops, and statistical consultation and collaboration for trainees and early Cancer Center members.

For graduate students, oncology residents, fellows, and Cancer Center members, we provide a monthly seminar on state-of-the-art approaches for cancer research.

Biostatistics Support

The BSR’s services focus on statistical and collaboration on the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of all research activities at University of Illinois Cancer Center. 

Our services include:

  • Provide consultation and collaboration regarding all types of study design (e.g., validity of design, feasibility of meeting objectives, sample size, projection of study duration).
  • Design clinical trial with adaptive and sequential design
  • Clinical trial and study protocol development
  • Statistical monitoring and assessing the progress of studies
  • Data analysis, assistance in manuscripts and presentations
  • Develop novel biostatistics and bioinformatics methods
  • Review proposals for clinical cancer-related studies within the context of the clinical trials review committee

To request support from BSR, please email Nelson Chen [email protected].

Data Management

The BSR statistical data management operations are responsible for the support of research databases including OnCore and eCRFs forms. We also incorporate REDCap in support for studies such as population-based observational studies and hospital chart review data. Statistical data managers routinely perform data extractions, ensure quality control, and create analysis datasets.

Scientific Review for Cancer Center

By evaluating the statistical feasibility of each proposed project — particularly on sample size, power, and study design — the BSR members are an integral part of Clinical Protocol and Data Management (CPDM), Protocol Review and Committee (PRC), the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMC), and service based programs.

For Cancer Center Members

The BSRC is dedicated to University of Illinois Cancer Center members.

Priority for the BSRC services is given to the cancer investigators with peer-reviewed funding, extramural grant submissions, and pending manuscript or abstract submissions. Please fill in the request form to schedule a consultation.

We do not implement a charge-back system for cancer center members. Assistance with preliminary data analysis for grant applications, grant statistical support, investigator-initiated clinical trial design, protocol preparation, and project planning services are all provided at no cost to our members.

Providing a no-cost service for conceptualization of grant design and methods encourages members to consider applying for extramural grant funding and expedites the statistical planning of cancer-focused research.

BSR members on funded grants or contracts are covered by appropriate levels of percent effort on collaborative work. It is a common criteria to cover a faculty biostatistician at least 5% effort on a R01, and 3% at R21, R03, ACS, DOD, etc. It is also required to budget 3% effort for Biostatistician in a Sponsor or contract supported clinical trial with more than 20 patients, or 5% in one with more than 100 patients, respectively.

Publication Acknowledgement Policy

The National Cancer Institute requires that publications acknowledge the University of Illinois Cancer Center BSR and it is tracking compliance. If BSR provided data, designed the study, performed analyses, provided results used in your publication, and/or provided any systems or services that were used for the work that resulted in your publication, please include the following statement in the acknowledgment section of your publication(s):

“Research reported in this publication was supported in part by the University of Illinois Cancer Center Biostatistics Shared Resource Core (BSR).”

Meet Our Team

Dr. Zhengjia (Nelson) Chen is the Director of Biostatistics Shared Resource Core and Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics. He has extensive experience in epidemiological, genetic, molecular, clinical, and surgical research on lung, head and neck, ovarian, leukemia, lymphoma, breast, melanoma, brain, and other cancers.
Dr. Li Liu is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She serves as senior biostatistician, participating in the design, data collection, analysis, and result dissemination of clinical, efficacy trials, biological, and clinical studies in cancer research.
Dr. Sun’s primary research interests are to develop efficient and novel statistical methods to deal with high-dimensional (big) biomedical data, including electronic health record data and genomics data. Specifically, his research areas include biomarker discovery, disease subtype identification, dynamic risk prediction, and network modelling.
Michael Berbaum is a Senior Biostatistician.
Sandeep Kataria

Sandeep Kataria

Sandeep Kataria is the Director of Oncology Bioinformatics for the University of Illinois Cancer Center and is charged with creating an integrated data architecture and environment that allows researchers to interact visually with their data. Having planned and implemented large scale, multiple source data integrations, he brings to the table knowledge and an experience in excess of 22 years in cancer data management.
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