Columbia University Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Biostatistics and Data Coordination

Melanie Wall, PhD, Director

Jina James, MA, Division Administrator

The Biostatistics Division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) provides researchers access to and training in state-of-the-art statistical techniques needed for optimal use of their research data.  The Division’s activities include developing and applying new methodologies for the design and analysis of psychiatric studies, participating in major, funded research projects, teaching statistics to researchers and fellows of training grants, mentoring PhD candidates from the Department of Biostatistics at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and providing consultations on data-analytic and design issues for grant submission and manuscript preparation.  The division holds a weekly seminar series inviting external and internal speakers on topics describing biostatistical methods relevant to psychiatry.  The seminars are open and well attended by researchers from all divisions of NYPSI and provide an environment to discuss current biostatistcal data analysis problems.

In July 2012, Melanie Wall, PhD, became the new director of the division, taking over from the retiring Naihua Duan, PhD.  Over the past year the division has grown to include 5 PhD faculty and 3 Masters level biostatisticians. In addition to Yuanjia Wang, PhD, and Sue Marcus, PhD, new members of the division include: Jean Choi, MS, Andrew Glass, MS, Tianshu Feng, MS, and starting in summer 2013 Hanga Galfalvy, PhD, and Seonjoo Lee, PhD.  Moreover, the division also has a new administrator, Ms. Jina James.

Specific recent methodological work has included developments in the areas of psychometrics, instrument assessment, longitudinal data analysis, causal analysis, generalizability, functional data analysis, modern statistical learning, mapping genetic determinants of complex traits, and implementation science. In synergy with these recent methodological developments and incorporating expertise in clinical trial and observational data analysis, our biostatistics faculty participates in extensive collaborations with many psychiatry researchers including projects studying anxiety disorders, cardiovascular response to emotions, stress markers and birth outcomes of teen pregnancy, substance dependence clinical trials and epidemiology, mental health services research, suicide prevention, eating disorders, and complicated grief. 


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