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Biostatistics in the Statistics Faculty

Biostatistics has always been a central part of the statistics faculty. Its important role is emphasised by the direct allocation of three professors and the cooperation of other departments in research projects with biostatistical topics.

The statistics faculty works in all areas of biostatistics including teaching, research and consultancy. A more detailed description of current research projects can be found by following the link: Areas of Research.


In the course of study at the faculty, biometrics is clearly the most commonly chosen of three possible focuses; Biometrics, Econometrics and Technometrics. More than a third of the statistics alumni work on key points, after completing their studies, for the development and application of biostatistical methods, in both university and non university settings, especially pharmaceutical industry, commissioned research institutes, in health-care and universities and research institutes.



Biostatistics is concerned with multifaceted questions. Historically we understand biostatistics as statistical theory and methods of describing, analysing, and interpreting biological data. We see today a much wider field, with applications in all life sciences, especially in medicine and bioinformatics.

The classification of biostatistics into the three most important areas, i.e. clinical statistics, epidemiology and bioinformatics, contains overlaps and does not cover all active working fields of the statistics faculty, but can be used as a basic representation of our work. For example, personalised medicine and genetic epidemiology have an interest in the genetic factors in clinical statistics and epidemiology. This is why modern bioinformatic methods are needed.

Clinical Statistics

In Clinical Statistics, the effect of clinical variables on the diagnosing and treatment of diseases in humans is researched. In the case of clinical trials, this happens in a controlled environment. Clinical trials are obligatory in most countries to test prescription drugs before they are released to the market.


The influence of different factors on disease and health among individuals and populations is researched in Epidemiology. Unlike clinical statistics, it doesn't occur in a controlled environment, but usually in observational studies, for example assessing the effect of smoking on the risk of cancer. Epidemiology plays therefore an important role in the improvement of our health.


Bioinformatics is a broad area of research which is basically concerned with the analysis of biological data on a molecular level. In the last few years, the analysis of genomic data has developed numerous new experimental technologies, with which many different characteristics can be measured simultaneously. This new hypothesis-generating, molecular biological experiment presents developments in the statistical evaluation of experimental results.