Applied Biostatistics Laboratory

Who we are

The Applied Biostatistics Laboratory (ABL) is a team of statisticians who apply our knowledge and training to your biomedical research. We believe this collaborative approach produces better research.

Pre-award, we can:

  • Contribute to the experimental design of new studies
  • Advise on outcomes selection
  • Help determine or justify sample size
  • Design randomization schemes
  • Design statistical analysis/modeling section(s)
  • Write sections of research proposals in these areas.

Post-award, we can:

  • Advise on appropriate database design and implementation
  • Implement blind randomization
  • Serve a principal role in DSMBs
  • Support interim reports
  • Conduct the final planned statistical analyses or modeling
  • Contribute as co-authors on scientific presentations and publications.

We are your statistical co-investigators and co-authors. We also collaborate with other University of Michigan units on biostatistical research.  Team members are independent researchers working on their own projects.

Cost of collaboration

Collaboration on new grant proposals and pilot work is free of charge for all UMSN faculty. We will help you determine how much funding to write into your grant for our collaboration. Funding typically ranges from 10% FTE – 25% FTE.

Post-award collaborations on funded grants that do not include a member of our lab as co-investigator may be charged a fee for services.

Statistical collaborations with faculty working on unfunded research will be handled on a case by case basis.

Working with students

The Applied Biostatistics Laboratory provides a unique educational opportunity for more senior undergraduate or graduate students interested in careers in applied statistics.

ABL faculty are able to participate as advisors on research dissertations and other capstone scholarly activities.

Statistical collaborations with students may be referred to the Center for Statistics, Computing, and Analytics Research (CSCAR) or other U-M resources.

Getting started

The first step in establishing a collaboration with members of the ABL is to contact us by phone (734) 647-0462 or email and set up a one- hour consultation. We will learn about your research and how we may provide meaningful contributions.

If you are at the proposal-writing stage, bring (or send) a copy of your current draft. If you already have data and are beginning to contemplate analysis, bring the data dictionary and the data.

We will talk about your primary aims, hypotheses, and research methods or designs that you are contemplating. There is no cost for this initial consult.

Our goals are to determine how members of the ABL may be able to assist you. This can vary from some simple advice to full collaboration as a vested co-investigator.

About the director

Dr. Robert Ploutz-Snyder

Dr. Ploutz-Snyder’s goal for the Applied Biostatistics Laboratory is to further advance the methodological and statistical rigor of research projects and to increase UMSN’s success rate for external support. He is a member and among the first 100 professionally accredited statisticians in the American Statistical Association (Pstat®).

Prior to joining UMSN, he was a lead biostatistician in NASA’s Human Research Program at the Johnson Space Center, where he collaborated on grants aimed at understanding and mitigating the negative effects of space flight on humans. Prior to NASA, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, with a highly successful track record of grant collaborations and scholarship.

His research interests include mixed modeling for longitudinal studies involving xed and random factors, addressing the challenges associated with small-n studies in highly novel research areas, missing data issues and analysis, and statistical designs and issues related to studying short and long- term effects of microgravity on humans.

The Team