Cancer Center Shared Resources: Biostatistical Consulting Service

The MCW Cancer Center creates value for members by building, supporting, or collaborating with resources that support basic and translational cancer research. These Shared Resources are not otherwise available to individual investigators or projects due to expense, complexity, limited expertise, or lack of space. 

This month we are highlighting two important Shared Resources; the Biostatistical Consulting Service and the Observational Methods Lab. 

The Biostatistical Consulting Service (BCS) provides services and expertise that are critical to successful cancer research at MCW.  The BCS is an essential resource for cancer investigators, the grant application and award process, and cancer research publication. The BCS is part of the College’s internationally renowned Division of Biostatistics. Dr. Meijie Zhang, an expert on cancer statistics, is the primary statistician for the MCW Cancer Center.

The BCS has a long history and excellent reputation with cancer researchers. The center provides additional education to Cancer Center members through lectures, seminars and training.  Last year alone, there were 41 publications linked to the service. 

In particular, the BCW works closely with many investigators and projects in the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), and are the primary statisticians for the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network.  Faculty statisticians are key contributors to the work of the CIBMTR on donor selection models, risk factors for disease progression, post hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) infections and socio-economic factors associated with HCT, among others.  They are internationally recognized for their work in survival analysis in general and HCT statistical analysis methods in particular.

The BCS’s model is flexible and collaborative, with many ways for cancer investigators to access services and support. The services provided by BCS are given free of charge to any investigator who requests support, including project consulting and drop-in consulting services.


Project Consulting

The BCS provides formal, project-based statistical support to MCW Cancer Center members and cancer investigators, including assistance with study design, data management, statistical analysis, interpretation of study results, and assistance with grant preparation. Formal in-depth collaborative services are staffed by PhD faculty and master’s level staff of the Division of Biostatistics. The depth of this support ranges from statistical advice through complete data analysis.

View more details and the online application


Drop-In Consulting Service

In addition to this more formal, appointment-based approach, the BCS also offers a daily drop-in consulting service for short questions and discussions with staff consultants. Currently BCS offers free drop-in services Monday-Friday at five different locations:

  • MCW Cancer Center (CLCC), Wednesdays, 10 a.m. - noon, Fridays, 1 - 3 p.m.
  • The Translational Research Unit office in the Froedtert Pavilion, Mondays & Wednesdays, 1 - 3 p.m.
  • Zablocki VA Medical Center, 1st & 3rd Mondays, 9 - 11 a.m.
  • Health Research Center, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1 - 3 p.m.
  • MCW and Marquette University School of Nursing, Tuesdays, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

View more information about hours and locations of the free BCS drop-in services


Lecture Series

The BCS provides an annual Biostatistics Lecture Series aimed at helping more investigators become more proficient in biostatistical study design, grant writing, analysis and interpretation of studies. CME credits are available for these lectures. View the full seminar schedule 


YouTube Channel and Other Electronic Resources

The BCS is particularly effective in using technology and electronic methods to open these lectures to the widest audience possible, and has a YouTube channel housing the instructional videos:

Again, these services offered without charge, through funds provided by the MCW Cancer Center, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. We encourage MCW Cancer Center members to take a few minutes to visit the BCS website ( to learn more about the services and support that BCS has to offer. 



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Page Updated 02/10/2017