Department History

Our roots date back to 1930 when the Department of Statistics and Insurance was founded at the University at Buffalo. The department has been in continuous operation in one form or another since then.

With a long-range plan to develop a full-featured Department of Statistics, the first phase was implemented in 1998 with the creation of the Division of Biostatistics within the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. By 2002, developing the biostatistics program was a top research priority for UB and for the State University of New York (SUNY).

Department Established as Part of New School

On July 1, 2003, the Department of Biostatistics was established as part of the newly formed School of Public Health and Health Professions. A strong biostatistics department was deemed essential in earning accreditation in public health through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Both the PhD program in biostatistics and the MPH with a biostatistics concentration are required for CEPH accreditation.  

Graduate Programs and Research Collaborations Developed

The re-organization of statistics to its current biostatistics form gave rise to the development of graduate programs in biostatistics and a more centralized coordination of research activities of applied and theoretical instruction. 

Our current department includes faculty members from the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and from the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) Statistical and Data Center. These affiliations, in addition to collaborations with researchers in our own School of Public Health and Health Professions and with UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences provide a rich environment for the education and training of biostatisticians.

The Department of Biostatistics Today

In addition to classroom studies, our students have opportunities to gain practical training through mentored, hands-on data analyses in the context of cutting-edge biological and health science research. Recognized for our comprehensive education, our department is ranked as one of the top 20 biostatistics programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.