Dr. Amit Huppert
Biostatistics and Biomathematics are integral parts of medical research today. Such research relies on biostatistical and mathematical thinking and expertise to clearly define the questions that are to be addressed in a research study, and to design and conduct the study so that those questions can be answered reliably. Proper statistical analysis of the data gathered in the research is required to arrive at correct answers to those questions. Modern-day analyses are expected by medical journals, granting bodies and medical authorities such as the FDA to account for the often-complex issues that arise in studies, such as hierarchical data, measurement error, missing data, multiple hypotheses and issues of causality. In addition, governments are often faced with difficult public health issues, where the impact of a wrong statistical analysis can cause great damage, and a correct statistical analysis can save lives, money or both on a national scale.
The Biostatistics and Biomathematics Unit provides support in the field of statistics to all the Units of the Gertner Institute, to the Ministry of Health, and to other external groups. This support includes collaboration and consultation in the planning and analysis of epidemiological studies, clinical trials and other clinical investigations. In addition, the Unit conducts independent biostatistical methodological research and programming of statistical algorithms.
Over the past 15 years the Gertner Biostatistics and Biomathematics Unit has played an important role in advising government bodies on the design, conduct and analyses of studies that are important to the health of the Israeli population, consulting with medical researchers in their research projects, and helping Israeli innovators design and analyze studies that are pivotal to their applications to medical authorities for approval of their products. Among our achievements over this period are the statistical analysis of cancer risk in Navy divers who trained in Nahal Kishon; the statistical analysis of cancer risk in workers in Israeli medical laboratories; the statistical analysis of cancer risk among soldiers who trained at the Tel Arad base; the design, monitoring and statistical analysis of three major trials in the management of patients with (i) heart failure (Kupat Cholim Maccabi); (ii) COPD (Kupat Cholim Clalit) and (iii) COPD/Asthma (Kupat Cholim Maccabi); and the statistical guidance of the Misrad HaBriut progam for quality of care measures in Israeli hospitals.
The Unit provides support in the field of statistics to all the Units of the Gertner Institute, to the Ministry of Health, and to other external groups. This support includes collaboration and consultation in the planning and analysis of epidemiological studies and clinical trials. In addition, the Biostatistics Unit is engaged in independent biostatistical methodological research and in programming of statistical algorithms.
The Unit's staff, which includes professional statisticians with postgraduate degrees, works in collaboration with researchers from other units at Gertner, such as the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, the Woman and Child Health Unit, the Cancer Epidemiology Unit and the Trauma Unit.
Current collaborative projects include: clinical trials in the management of patients COPD and Asthma, cancer risk among patients with diabetes, monitoring of new outbreaks of poliomyelitis, clinical trials of stem cell transplant for hematological cancers, diagnosis of diseases of the eye, lung cancer risk biomarkers, and S.aureus infection in newborns and during the first year of life.