Harvard School of Public Health
Department of Biostatistics

Pychiatric Biostatistics

Rapid developments in the basic sciences of epidemiology and biostatistics are pushing further the frontiers of research in psychiatric disorders, in understanding the natural history, genetic and environmental risk factors, and developing better treatment and prevention strategies. For example, psychiatric epidemiology research increasingly makes use of advanced statistical methods such as survival analysis, statistical decision theory, log-linear modeling and exact methods for contingency table analysis, methods for analyzing longitudinal and outcome studies involving repeated measures and missing data. Psychiatric genetic epidemiology makes extensive use of quantitative genetic models and a range of other complex statistical methods. Finally, research involving the neurosciences promises to serve as a rich source of new psychoactive compounds. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is currently mounting very large-scale clinical trials with the goal of developing better strategies for the treatment of psychiatric illness. Many faculty in the Department of Biostatistics have research interests in psychiatry and mental health, with focal emphasis on preventive research; psychiatric genetics; and clinical trials.