Research Leaders: Professor Ian James and Dr Bethy McKinnon

Interested in Biostatistics, contact Dr Bethy McKinnon

IIID Biostatistics expertise and development is integrated into most projects carried out in the Institute and with the Institute’s partners and collaborators. It is accompanied by research on fundamental new methodological issues arising from these projects, particularly where the methods have broader application. Recent collaborative projects include analysis of host-viral interactions in HIV, Hepatitis B and C infection; investigations of genetic associations with drug hypersensitivity; population-based analyses of serum iron parameters; assessment of predictors of aviraemia in virologically suppressed HIV-positive patients; assessment of testing procedures for the diagnosis and monitoring of systemic lupus erythematosus; assessment of treatment-induced viral mutation and reversion in Hepatitis C patients; and analysis of biological and genetic markers and risk factors in MS and other demyelinating diseases and Alzheimer’s disease.

Methodological research of the group has included development of methods to accommodate censored or incomplete data, longitudinal and time-to-event data and immunogenetic issues arising in the analysis of host-viral interactions. Ongoing work includes the development of methods of assessing the extent of viral diversity attributable to host genotype and of analysing false discovery rates among large-scale genomic studies based on tables with relatively small but varying marginal totals. A developing methodological research theme is the implementation of novel statistical approaches to the analysis of complex data arising from contemporary high-powered laboratory techniques. These include the application of mixture models and false discovery rate methods to the assessment of positivity in ELISPOT assays and droplet digital PCR, and of quasi-likelihood methods appropriate to NanoString technology.