A biostatistician is someone who uses or applies mathematics and statistics to varying categories in biology. They design biological experiments primarily in the field of agriculture and medicine; collect, dissect, and summarize the data, and release information based on the findings of that data. They are a critical addition to any research team and are often involved in the writing of papers on groundbreaking topics and research. They work on methods in applied and theoretical statistics in order to advance the science of data analysis beyond current levels.
Anytime statistics like “75% of people who smoke develop lung cancer," are heard, one can be sure that the hard work of a biostatistician was behind it. These highly trained and educated people analyze and study the determining factors that impact the health and well-being of people, plants, and animals in order to arrive at conclusions about disorders, disease, or other health risks. With this information a biostatistician can study the effects of various treatments based on the findings and numbers of the analysis.
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Biostatisticians devise studies in order to determine risk factors for certain things, deciding which elements should be discarded and which should be included. They review the data that was collected and issue papers or reports to various agencies or employers on the findings of the data. They will sometimes be asked to determine the factors involved in certain medical problems and how much, if any, risk exists for certain treatments for those problems. Using mathematics, they may determine a probable cause for the biological or medical situation that they are being asked to study.
Pharmaceutical companies use biostatisticians during their clinical studies to determine how effective or ineffective a certain drug is on the human population. In addition to creating new data, a biostatistician will sometimes evaluate current data on a particular subject to determine possible outcomes for the purpose of shaping public health policies and education. Biostatisticians often gather necessary data before an experiment can take place; gather data during the experimental stage; and gather data after the experiments are over to determine the level of real world success or failure.
A person in the biostatistics field will find employment in universities, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, medical corporations, and agricultural firms. They will often work as a part of a team of scientists during typical office working hours, 40 hours per week. Nights and weekends would not be an issue unless a deadline needs to be met. People in this profession are usually stationed in comfortable offices, though travel may be necessary to confer with other scientists.