Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology

Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology Program (BBE) supplies the statistical and mathematical modeling expertise needed within Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division to accomplish our ambitious objective of eliminating disease and death attributable to infection. We are also accelerating research to confront the growing burden of COVID-19, HIV and cancer-related infectious diseases worldwide.

The BBE's nearly 34 faculty members model epidemics, research statistical methods to design complex global clinical trials, and analyze biological assays to better understand infectious disease processes and immune responses.

A hallmark of BBE is the simultaneous pursuit of excellence in both methodological and applied science. Researchers frequently develop novel mathematical approaches to better answer scientific questions that continually emerge from ongoing studies within the division.

BBE faculty members are experts in five key quantitative disciplines: biostatistics, bioinformatics, computational biology, infectious disease epidemiology and mathematical modeling.

Researchers use genetic clues to map the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major Research Efforts

Fred Hutch directs major worldwide, multicenter studies to model the spread of infectious diseases and to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our biostatisticians play leadership roles in these initiatives.

researcher reviewing clinical data

Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention

SCHARP is a world-class statistical and data center dedicated to improving global health. SCHARP’s biostatisticians, programmers, and data management experts manage clinical and laboratory data and support statistical design and analysis of clinical trials. Experts in regulatory compliance, SCHARP handles all regulatory and reporting requirements according to international standards. SCHARP is the Statistical and Data Management Center for multiple global HIV research networks and supports the design, data management and analysis of other infectious disease and oncology clinical trials at Fred Hutch.

Scientists discussing poster

Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases (CIDID)

BBE Program Head and vaccine expert M. Elizabeth Halloran leads CIDID. A collaborative effort among eight institutions to drive international research and guide policy-making, CIDID conducts statistical and computational studies on the prevention and spread of infectious diseases. Six additional biostatisticians from our Program also participate in CIDID initiatives, conducting research on influenza, dengue, cholera and polio to understand the immunology, epidemiology, and environmental factors behind the spread of these infectious diseases.

Networks and Collaborations

Fred Hutch serves as the statistical and data management center for several international collaborative studies aiming to develop safe, effective vaccines, preventions, and therapies to combat HIV/AIDS. BBE faculty members contribute critical expertise to these networks. This includes designing experimental protocols, innovating statistical methods for data analysis and analyzing and interpreting study data.

HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN)

BBE faculty member Peter Gilbert leads HVTN’s Statistical Data Management Center. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, HVTN oversees worldwide clinical trials to test vaccines against HIV/AIDS. The network designs and conducts all phases of clinical trials, from evaluating experimental vaccines for safety and immunogenicity to testing vaccine efficacy.

Microbicide Trials Network (MTN)

BBE faculty member Elizabeth Brown heads MTN’s statistical and data management center, and SCHARP is employed to supply clinical data management and statistical service support. Established in 2006, MTN conducts studies aimed at developing topical or oral antiviral medications to reduce transmission of HIV/AIDS. The network includes more than 25 clinical research sites in seven countries worldwide.

HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN)

BBE faculty member Deborah Donnell leads HPTN’s Statistical Data Management Center, and SCHARP is employed to supply clinical data management and statistical service support. Founded in 2000, HPTN researches integrated strategies for HIV prevention, including antiretroviral drugs and behavioral interventions.

Vaccine Immunology Statistical Center (VISC)

BBE Associate Head Raphael Gottardo heads VISC, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded program that provides statistics support for the Foundation’s HIV vaccine development initiative, Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD). The BBE statisticians in VISC have expertise in the areas of biostatistics, immunologic assays, bioinformatics, data management, and information systems. VISC also partners with SCHARP for management of lab data and other critical operational support.

Featured Lab

Predicting Epidemics Before They Start

Evolutionary biologist Trevor Bedford uses complex statistical and computational methodology to study the rapid spread and evolution of viruses, from Influenza to Zika. The goal is to disrupt global epidemics before they spread. 

Our Leadership

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Elizabeth Halloran, PhD

Betz Halloran, M.D., D. Sc.

Dr. Elizabeth “Betz” Halloran is a world leader in using mathematical and statistical methods to study infectious disease. She is a pioneer in the field of designing and analyzing vaccine studies, including studies of HIV vaccines. In addition to being Program Head of VIDD’s Biostatistics, Bioinformatics & Epidemiology Program, she is the director of the Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases. Headquartered at Fred Hutch, this center helps the federal government understand and prepare for infectious-disease outbreaks. She is also the founder and Director of the Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health. Her work is used to develop strategies to stop outbreaks of serious global threats such as Zika, Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 virus diseases, influenza, cholera and dengue fever.

In recent months Betz has taken a leading role in advising local, regional and global governments on matters relating to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, notably as a participating member of the World Health Organization’s Blueprint for Research & Development Working Group on Trial Design for Emerging Infectious Diseases, as well as its Scientific Advisory Group.

Raphael Gottardo, PhD

Raphael Gottardo, Ph.D.

A member of Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division since 2010, Dr. Raphael Gottardo helps guide the overall mission of the division as well as shaping the role of biostatistics and computational biology.

His research group contributes statistical and computational methods, data tools, and data analysis for assessing the immunogenicity of vaccine candidates with a variety of immunological assays. He has also made critical contributions to the fields of statistics and public health by identifying novel correlates of vaccine protection.

An international expert on the bioinformatics of flow cytometry, Dr. Gottardo also plays an important role within the Human Immunology Project Consortium where he leads the development of the central database and analysis engine, ImmuneSpace.

Contact

  • BBE Administration
  • BBE Executive Assistants
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Joanna Diallo

Director, Program Operations

Chris Jeffries

Administrative Coordinator

Rebecca Allen

(Betz Halloran)

Jill Anderson

(Fei Gao and Peter Gilbert)

Chris Jeffries

(Ying Chen, Ying Huang and Youyi Fong)

Lindsey Mwoga

(Trevor Bedford, Elizabeth Brown and Raphael Gottardo)

Megan Rabone

(Deborah Donnell, Ollivier Hyrien and Holly Janes)

Last Modified, January 28, 2021