Overview and Mission

fieda smToday, complex statistical and computational approaches are an essential part of cancer research. On one hand, discoveries in the last decade have highlighted that most cancers are not homogeneous diseases, but rather collections of different diseases, each with its own biology, and each requiring different therapeutic approaches. On the other hand, advanced technologies used in today’s cancer research generate very large and complex data. Many of the opportunities and challenges we have as a cancer research community involve using these complex data to understand the key features of each individual cancer subtype, and use this information to identify, or develop, the appropriate therapy for each patient.
The mission of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology is to meet these challenges by conducting research in statistical, mathematical and computational methods that are directly helpful for cancer research. These methods are presently integrated into clinical and translational research, population-based studies, and cancer biology. Department faculty also develop software for research and clinical applications, and perform high-throughput genomic experiments guided by their computational insights. All members of the faculty collaborate extensively in interdisciplinary research, providing expert advice on experimental design, data collection, data storage, data integration, and data analysis of clinical, laboratory, and population-based studies.  Consultation in quantitative methods is a service provided to investigators throughout Dana-Farber and collaborating institutions nationally and internationally.