Biostatistics & data science

Improving the health of people by interpreting data and transforming it into knowledge.

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Leading in a data-driven world

The Department of Biostatistics and Data Science is the academic home for statisticians and data scientists working to help people live better by translating data into public health knowledge.

We believe that the synergy between statistics and data science has the means to revolutionize the way we improve population health and deliver healthcare services. This intersection drives evidence-based decision-making in both research and industry, and already serves an integral role in enhancing the quality of life for people around the world. We equip our students with the knowledge and experiences needed to thrive in this era of Big Data. Our well-established faculty develop and maintain interdisciplinary networks across the Texas Medical Center, and use these relationships to ensure students have the opportunity to tackle real world challenges as part of their education.

“As a biostatistics student at UTHealth School of Public Health, you will develop expertise in the theory and practice of biostatistics, working with faculty who are renowned leaders in statistical theory and its applications to health sciences. Recently we have also developed new education programs in data science, including a Data Science Certificate and an Advanced Data Science Certificate, to develop our students’ ability to analyze and integrate Big Data from biomedical and health sciences.”

Dr. Hulin Wu
Department Chair


As part of our commitment to encouraging collaboration in the fields of biostatistics and data sciences, we regularly host and support industry conferences, including the upcoming ICSA 2020 Applied Statistics Symposium (now virtual), StatFest 2019, and BigDIA 2018.

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Preparing the next generation of statisticians and data scientists for a data-driven world.

Biostatistics uses statistical tools and methods to make sense of the vast quantities of data generated by health research. Through classroom instruction and hands-on experience, our students learn operate in two roles, both as leaders in their field and as expert translators of data and statistics for their project partners and clients. Each role is equally important. As leaders in statistics, our students are primed and ready to consult on creating the right structure and collection methods for accurate data, exploring new methodology to improve efficiency and veracity of study findings. As project partners, our students learn to articulate findings to stakeholders in a way that is meaningful and actionable—biostatistics is a delicate science, and data must be interpreted and shared with discipline and care to ensure that it is leveraged effectively. While our PhD program in biostatistics is among the top 6 of the largest biostatistics PhD programs in the country, upon completion of their degree, all of our students are prepared to safeguard public health and improve lives in academia, industry, government, and beyond.

Biostatistics and data science research

The Department of Biostatistics & Data Science has a diverse array of statistical and data science research areas available to our faculty and students. A major strength and component of our department is the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials (CCCT), which has a more-than-40-year history of successfully coordinating large multicenter clinical trials and providing comprehensive services for these endeavors. We also recently established the Center for Big Data in Health Sciences (CBD-HS), which hosts several Big Data research projects, including development of predictive models and heterogeneous data integration methods for Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) data, insurance claim data, and data from public databases or data repositories. And our new Center for Biostatistics Collaboration and Data Services will provide opportunities for our faculty and students to collaborate and interact with biomedical and health science investigators to address scientific questions using their statistical and data science skills.

You can review more information about our training grants on the Training Grants in Biostatistics page.

Our research interests and efforts include:
  • Clinical Trials
  • Experimental and Adaptive Designs
  • Survival Data Analysis
  • Longitudinal Data from Observational and Epidemiological Studies
  • Bayesian Methods in Public Health
  • Bioinformatics/Computational Biology
  • EHR/EMR, Insurance Claim and Healthcare Data Modeling/Analysis
  • Imaging Data Analysis
  • GIS/Spatio-temporal Data Analysis
  • Risk and Disease Progression Modeling
  • Unstructured Data Analysis
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Data Management, Harmonization and Integration
  • Data Visualization and Software Tool Development
  • Missing Data
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Nonparametric statistics
  • Time Series Data
  • Casual Inference
  • Statistical Genetics
  • Machine Learning Methods

Degree programs

The Department of Biostatistics and Data Science offers the following degrees:

Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Science in Biostatistics
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics

Certificates offered

The Department of Biostatistics and Data Science offers the following certificates:

For non-degree seeking students:
  • Data Science Certificate
  • Advanced Data Science Certificate (beginning spring 2020)
For degree-seeking students:
  • Data Science Certificate
  • Advanced Data Science Certificate

Contact us

Meet the Student Association of Biostatistics and Data Science

Dejian Lai, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics
Faculty Admissions Representative
(713) 500-9270

Emmanuel Moon
Academic and Admissions Advisor
(713) 500-9564


    Support grows for the new UTHealth COVID-19 Center of Excellence   

    Bringing together expertise and access to the best clinical care, research trials, discovery science, and public health knowledge, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has established the UTHealth COVID-19 Center of Excellence.

    READ MORESPH - Center of Excellence

    UTHealth researchers and physicians, from left, Luis Ostrosky, MD; Bela Patel, MD; and Henry Wang, MD, MPH, are leading clinical trials on COVID-19.

    US Department of Defense Recommends Funding to Department of Biostatistics and Data Science 

    The Department of Defense has recommended $750,000 in funding for research led by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Data Science. The study, “Leveraging FITBIR Data to Improve Clinical Practice of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury,” is led by Dr. Jose-Miguel Yamal.

    READ MORESPH - Research Update - TDI

    Jose-Miguel Yamal's headshot.

    Mapping the spread of COVID-19 in Texas

    A working team of faculty, staff and students recently launched a visualization dashboard which provides real-time data analytics to monitor COVID-19 spread in the state of Texas.

    READ MORESPH - Our Impact - Covid Dashboard

    An image of the world made to look like the outline of a coronavirus. (Image is Creative Commons)

    Emily Gordon will represent UTHealth School oh Public Health   

    Two UTHealth School of Public Health students have been selected by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) to join the 2020-2021 cohort of This is Public Health Ambassadors.

    READ MORESPH - Emily Gordon TIPH

    Emily Gordon

    Gen Zhu receives departmental Preliminary Exam awards   

    Congratulations to Mr. Gen Zhu for receiving the best theory score award, best application score award, and best overall performance award for the 2020 preliminary examination of the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science!

    CONGRATULATIONS!SPH - Gen Zhu Best Theory Score Awards

    Gen Zhu