Biostatistics, Epidemiology, & Research Design (BERD)

Expert biostatistical consulting and analysis for health-related research

The Illinois Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) Core at IHSI offers expert biostatistical consulting and analysis services in support of health-related research. We work with internal (Illinois) and external (non-Illinois) researchers on basic science, social and behavioral research, and translational research studies and clinical trials.

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Biostatistical Services

The BERD team helps researchers design studies and enhance data collection, management, and analysis for health-related research projects. Biostatistical support is available throughout the project lifespan with a cost structure that is subsidized for Illinois investigators. 

  • Design of observational and experimental studies, including sampling methods for selection of subjects and randomization to treatment groups
  • Design of data collection instruments and validation
  • Development of data specifications
  • Development of statistical analysis plans
  • Data management
  • Power/sample size calculation
  • Execution of data specifications requiring data manipulation and preparation of datasets
  • Statistical analysis of data
  • Meta-analysis
  • Assistance with grant applications, abstract, manuscript, and poster development
  • Program evaluation using Stufflebeam (CIPP), Kirkpatrick and mixed approaches

Our biostatisticians have access to and experience with various statistical software packages, including SAS, SPSS, STATA, R, PASS, and GPower. Types of statistical data analysis of data include:

  • Basic analytical methods: descriptive statistics, graphical presentation, parametric and non-parametric tests of hypothesis, regression models (linear, logistic, Poisson and proportional hazards)
  • Advanced analytics methods: multilevel mixed effects modeling structural equation modeling, analysis of count data, zero-inflated models and multivariate analysis


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Meet the BERD Team

Jesus Sarol, Jr

Jesus Sarol, Jr., PhD
Senior Research Biostatistician
(217) 244-2516

Areas of specialization:
Sample surveys, epidemiologic methods in observational and experimental studies, parametric and non-parametric tests, generalized linear models, survival analysis, multilevel models, multivariate analysis, analysis of count data, zero-inflated models, power and sample size calculation, meta-analysis and program evaluation  

Amandeep Kaur

Amandeep Kaur, BDS, MPH
Research Biostatistician
(217) 300-8020

Areas of specialization:
Power and sample size calculations, data management, study designs, longitudinal and cross-sectional data analysis, generalized linear mixed models, survival analysis, and non-parametric models  

Sa Shen

Sa Shen, PhD
Research Biostatistician
(217) 300-9211

Areas of specialization:
Statistical methodology and applications, analysis of large-scale data sets (longitudinal and cross-sectional), systematic reviews

Fatima Ahmed

Fatima Ahmed, MS
Assistant Research Biostatistician

Areas of specialization:
Areas of specialization: Application of standard statistical techniques to answer health-related research questions (including animal models), analysis of nutritional content of diets, data management, data harmonization

Grants & publications

Congratulations to five of the research teams BERD worked with in 2020 on their recent grants and publications!

Liliane Windsor (PI): Optimization of a new adaptive intervention to increase COVID-19 testing among people at high risk in an urban community (NIH); Josie Rudolphi and Courtney Cuthbertson (PIs): Illinois farmers under stress: identifying safety and health implications (Research and Innovation Seed Grant Program, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering); Kevin Tan (PI): Teacher-student ratings of social, emotional, behavioural needs among high school freshmen students; Joe L. Rowles III and John Erdman (PIs): Dietary tomato or lycopene do not reduce castration-resistant prostate cancer progression in a murine model; Tamas Ambrisko (PI): Quantification of reservoir bags as airway pressure-limiting devices in a nonrebreathing system