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Biostatistics Center

The Biostatistics Center (BSC) provides laboratory and clinical research investigators with collaborative expertise and assistance with research and clinical trials study design, data management, and biostatistical analysis. This Core has been consistently supported by NEI grants since 1981.  

NEI Core Center Grant P30 EY014801 supports portions of the Biostatistics Core.  Please cite this grant number on all publications that make use of the portions of this core that are supported by this award.

Leadership & Management

Richard K. Parrish, II, M.D, is the clinical director of the Biostatistics Center.  Parrish, a professor of ophthalmology and holder of the Edward W.D. Norton Chair in Ophthalmology, serves as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and as director of the glaucoma service at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He previously served as chair of the department of ophthalmology from 1996 to 1999.

Director, biostatistician, and scientist, Elizabeth Vanner, Ph.D. joined the BSC in 2016 after a post-doctoral fellowship at Stony Brook University where she earned her Ph.D. in 2013.  Her doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Analysis of Timing Effects of Pars Plana Vitrectomy for Removal of Intravitreal Crystalline Retained Lens Fragments after Surgery for Age-Related Cataracts.”  Vanner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard College and a Master of Science in biostatistics, health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health.  Throughout her tenure, she has worked closely with faculty members, residents, and fellows to design, implement, analyze, and publish various clinical studies in ophthalmology. 

Senior biostatistician and scientist William Feuer, M.S. a leader in ophthalmology research has been a biostatistician with Bascom Palmer since 1985.  He has served on multiple National Eye Institute-supported multi-center clinical trials. Feuer presents seminars on statistical study design and relevant statistical methods to faculty, residents and fellows.


Bascom Palmer’s physicians and scientists receive assistance on their clinical and laboratory research projects from the staff of the biostatistics center, including: Wei Shi, M.S., a biostatistician and senior research associate who joined the BSC in 2012; Eleanor Savatovsky, M.D., Ph.D. (ODRC), assistant scientist; Anny Rodriguez, B.S., research analyst; Yolanda Silva, B.S., M.I.S., research associate, Ruth Vandenbroucke, B.S., C.C.R.P. (ODRC), manager for research support; and Luz Ajuria, research assistant.

Providing the latest in biostatistical and information science to researchers

  • Experimental Design: Evaluate the feasibility of research projects, provide sample size and power estimates, as well as randomization schedules, case-control selection, and relevant variables to be documented.
  • Research Protocol Development: Assist researchers in the development of laboratory, experimental model, and clinical experiments, including developing Manuals of Procedures and data collection forms for clinical trials and epidemiologic studies.
  • Statistical Coordinating Center Activities: These activities include randomization and follow-up on patients for multicenter, randomized clinical trials; data collection and management; data analysis; and convening Safety and Data Monitoring Committee (SDMC) meetings.
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation: The Core can assist researchers with statistical analysis and interpretation for a wide range of studies.
  • Proposal and Report Preparation: Collaborate with researchers in preparing grant applications, reports for Data and Safety Monitoring Committees, manuscripts, and presentations.
  • Training and Education: The biostatisticians teach residents and fellows who prepare annual research projects about appropriate study design, analysis, and interpretation of results specific to their project (laboratory, experimental model, clinical).

Information Technology Resources

The Biostatistics center is well equipped with desktop and laptop personal computers with the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and a suite of academic, business, and research applications.  The University of Miami Departments of Information Technology and Research Information Technology manage and provide technology support to the BSC “24/7”.  All personal computers are linked via a local area network with Microsoft network software that provides password protected file sharing and Outlook e-mail service.  Email messages travel via encrypted paths at all times.

The BSC currently uses the following statistical packages for data analysis: SAS, SPSS, SAS JMP, R, and Minitab. The REDCap system, “a mature, secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases” and the Velos eResearch Clinical Trials Management Software, a “user-friendly technology infrastructure for managing studies, tracking subjects, and facilitating analysis, while maintaining the privacy and safety of participants” are available to Investigators and Research Teams to manage clinical research data and to facilitate regulatory and reporting compliance. Also available is the University Research Informatics Data Environment (URIDE), “a big data and visualization service – integrating de-identified data from the UHealth UChart system – that provides investigators with a single, secure, exploratory environment for all clinically and scientifically derived data for research at the University of Miami.”  Online surveys are supported by REDCap and Qualtrics tools.  A “Web Meeting” an application that uses Adobe Acrobat Connect Platform (Macromedia Breeze) is available to conduct meetings over the web.

Box, a HIPAA-compliant “cloud-based” collaboration technology, provides access to files over the Internet at high speed and over protected networks. All systems platforms can be access through a secure network connection or “VPN”, in addition to the University secure wireless grids, such “SecureCanes” link.  High-speed digital links connect this network to the Internet, the resources of the University of Miami Coral Gables campus and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences in particular.


Dominion Tower, Suite 506


Elizabeth Vanner, Ph.D., Director
Dominion Tower, Suite 506, Box C210
1400 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136

The University of Miami is served by an FDDI backbone, which ties together EtherNet hubs linking all major buildings including those comprising the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.