Biostatistical Support Unit

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The Biostatistical Support Unit (BSU) of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention provides biostatistical support for studies including planning, conducting, evaluating, and reporting the statistical aspects of the research projects.

The BSU staff brings to the unit a variety of skills and past experiences The BSU team is available for consultation at all stages of research studies and assists with proposal development and study planning, study conduct, analysis, dissemination, presentations and publications.  Currently, the BSU has two statisticians: Ziya Gizlice, Ph.D. and Haibo Zhou, Ph.D.  Dr. Gizlice is the Director of the BSU, providing unit oversight as well as coordination of biostatistical consultation and assistance.  Dr. Zhou is Professor of Biostatistics at UNC and serves as a consulting statistician for the BSU.  Dr. Zhou also serves as a liaison between the BSU and the Department of Biostatistics at UNC which has over 35 full-time faculty members who are available for specialized consultation if needed.

BSU Team members use a variety of statistical analysis software packages including SAS, SUDAAN, STATA, R and NCCS-PASS.


BSU staff provide integrated statistical support services from the proposal development stage to the analysis and dissemination of research results, including:

  • refining study objectives and research questions,
  • choosing the study design that will best accomplish the investigator’s objectives,
  • designing statistical analyses that are appropriate for the study design and research questions,
  • calculating the appropriate sample size,
  • establishing methods of randomization and masking when needed,
  • assisting with survey sampling,
  • preparing the statistical analysis section of a grant proposal and/or study protocol,
  • assisting with the design of data collection procedures,
  • managing and preparing data for analysis,
  • conducting and interpreting statistical analyses of research data, and
  • reporting research results, including development of abstracts, presentations for professional meetings, and manuscripts submitted to professional journals.

Requesting Services from BSU

BSU staff are available for consultation at all stages of development of the study. Please contact Ziya Gizlice, PhD to discuss your project’s biostatistical support needs. Dr. Gizlice serves as the Director of BSU and coordinates and provides biostatistical support services. Your project will be assigned to a BSU staff member. For ongoing project biostatistical support needs, please contact the BSU staff to whom the project has been assigned. When requesting support for the preparation of a grant proposal, it is essential that the investigator allow adequate time prior to the submission deadline.

BSU Staff Contact Information

Dr. Ziya Gizlice, BSU Director
Phone: 919-966-6040

Dr. Haibo Zhou
Phone: 919-966-3885

Dr. Shrikant Bangdiwala, BSU Senior Biostatistical Consultant and Research Professor of Biostatistics
Phone: 919-962-3266

Jianwen Cai, BSU Senior Biostatistical Consultant, Professor of Biostatistics
Phone: 919-966-6040