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Program Director's Welcome

Jeannette Simino

Welcome to the Biostatistics and Data Science graduate programs at UMMC! We truly believe that data is a vital resource that can be harnessed to improve population health in Mississippi and around the globe. To us, big data offers big solutions! Our ultimate programmatic goal is to train graduates to translate data into actionable findings to improve healthcare, prevent ailments, and cure diseases.

We are housed in the Department of Data Science in the John D. Bower School of Population Health; our school also houses the Departments of Population Health Science and Preventive Medicine.  Our founding Dean, Dr. Bettina Beech, encourages interdepartmental collaboration among all school members (faculty, staff, and students) to enhance the conduct of rigorous and well-designed studies of population health risk factors, interventions, and outcomes. Improving population health is a multi-faceted and complex task, requiring a cadre of diverse and dedicated experts working together; our biostatistics and data science contributions are highly valued and encouraged!

Our Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs include broad training in Biostatistics, 'Omics (Bioinformatics and Genomics), and Data Science.  Our blended programs include sufficient statistical theory to ensure that our graduates choose the proper method to address each health-related question and understand the assumptions and limitations underlying their analysis. However, our programs also cover the breadth of applications included in a typical health data science program and cover the gamut of statistical (R, SAS, Stata) and computer (Python, SQL) programming languages requested by employers.

We further embed exercises of effective communication into our program. Since lack of communication is a constant barrier to the translation of study findings to the broader community, students complete internships and statistical consulting sessions to tackle important health questions and communicate their findings to crucial healthcare stakeholders such as clinicians, hospital administrators, and government agencies.

Both of our programs are primarily administered face-to-face rather than online. We want our students to become part of the fabric of our vibrant Jackson-metro community, to truly understand important population health challenges and be part of the teams that develop solutions. We also want our students to have sufficient academic and research support right down the hall. We maintain low student-faculty ratios and offer small class sizes to help all of our students achieve their maximum potential.

Last, but definitely not least, our students have the opportunity to work with high-quality epidemiologic data from two renowned studies, namely the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and the Jackson Heart Study. Both include participants from our local community and allow students to work on real-life data with national and international health experts from the most elite institutions in the world.

We invite you to visit the rest of our website to learn more. Please feel free to contact us for additional information about our programs. Thanks again for your interest in our Biostatistics and Data Science graduate programs!

Dr. Jeannette Simino, Assistant Professor
Biostatistics and Data Science Program Director