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About Clinical Biostatistics Course

Overview

Clinical biostatistics is an area of science that deals with the methodologies used in design and analysis in clinical trials. Academia and industry develop pharmaceutical and other medical products, which must be evaluated in clinical trials for efficacy and safety before they can be approved by the regulatory agencies. Since statistical methods are essential for scientifically rigorous assessment, biostatisticians with expertise in methodology and mathematical aspects of clinical trials are indispensable in successful drug development. Most biostatisticians in Japan are members of the Biometric Society of Japan.

The work of biostatisticians involves both the practical and theoretical aspects of medical research. From a practical perspective, they participate in the design of the study protocol, conduct interim and final statistical analyses (including programming and reporting), and interpret analytical results. These responsibilities are carried out in collaboration with medical professionals, and therefore require general medical knowledge and communication skills. The theoretical work of biostatisticians relates to developing and evaluating new statistical methods through mathematical derivation, computer simulation and application to real datasets.

Clinical Biostatistics Course

The Clinical Biostatistics Course is a two-year, postgraduate, and professional degree program offered by Kyoto University School of Public Health (SPH). Students who complete this course will receive a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Students will learn the fundamentals of statistics, biostatistics, and other subjects necessary for the professional MPH degree. They will also receive practical on-site training and experience at Kyoto University Hospital and National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center.

Background

This course has been developed as part of the Biostatistician Development and Support Initiative launched by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development. Under this initiative, Kyoto University School of Public Health and University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies have been designated as centers for developing and training biostatisticians.

School of Public Health (SPH) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree

In general, school of public health provides postgraduate medical and health education from a social perspective, leveraging biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental science, health policy and management, behavioral science and medical ethics and other approaches. Covering a broad range of topics from natural science to humanities, this school is open to students with bachelor’s degrees in the medical sciences as well as other disciplines.

Many universities in Europe, North America, and other regions have established schools of public health, which have the qualification to issue an MPH degree to students who successfully complete their one- to two-year professional programs.