The Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Unit (BBU)
Bioinformatics Computing Lab
This computing laboratory provides bioinformatics research support services in the border region.
With an interdisciplinary panel of consulting faculty from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Mathematical Sciences, our bioinformatics computing support ranges from mathematical modeling to software usage, DNA sequencing, and microarray analysis, including both the computational and experimental components in biomedical research. In particular, we provide services in developing databases and software for genomics and proteomics data analysis, biomolecular sequence analysis and structure prediction, and glycosylation site prediction. These research tools are implemented with the equipment in BCL, its satellite sites, and other high-performance computing (HPC) facilities on UTEP campus. Web-based, user-friendly interfaces are built for these bioinformatics software tools to be utilized primarily by researchers in the El Paso areas. To enhance our support for cancer prevention and research with the concept of personalized medicine at a state level, BCL is also involved in developing reliable algorithms for digital patient ID systems using secure tags integrated with large-scale bioinformatics databases.
Statistical Consulting Laboratory
The long-term goal of the Statistical Consulting Laboratory (SCL) is to be a regional resource for the statistical support of basic science research, clinical or population based research, and evaluation of interventions designed to address issues of health and health disparities in the region's population. As a major component of the Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC), the Statistical Consulting Lab will continue to serve as a focal point from which all BBRC participants may obtain statistical and computing support for both their research and for the education of students in the graduate programs of the Biological Sciences Department. Statistical support is provided by a Ph.D. level staff statistician and five resource statisticians (counting the SCL core director) in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Statistical support includes:
- Planning sample sizes so the minimum number of experimental units are used to achieve a specified level of power or predictive ability;
- Specifying models for related hypothesis in terms of estimable quantities;
- Randomizing experimental units when appropriate;
- Analyzing data, checking for validity of assumptions required by certain statistical methods;
- Modifying or creating statistical methodology when basic assumptions required for validity of the existing statistical methodology are violated;
- Interpreting the results;
- Teaching the graduate Biostatistics core course for the Biological Sciences Department; and
- Research proposal development and protocol review. Close long-term working relationships between statisticians and biomedical researchers will be nurtured with release time from teaching, summer salary, and travel support. Computing support is provided by a network manager who assists with hardware selection and maintenance, spread sheet design for creation of electronic databases, database management and backups, and homepage design and maintenance for recruitment of students to careers in the health sciences. SCL computing facilities are to be maintained with up-to-date software and hardware.
Dr. Amy Wagler now serves as the Director of the BBRC Biostatistics laboratory which falls under the Statistical Consulting Laboratory, where she also serves as Director. Dr. Wagler is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UTEP. She has had an accomplished career since receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Statistics from Oklahoma State University. Her commitment to research is strong as Dr. Wagler works regularly with researchers from a variety of fields and she has published greater than 20 articles in top tier journals and books, along with being awarded 5 grants as PI, Co-PI or key personnel. She focuses on several diverse areas of statistics including multiple comparisons, selective inference, generalized linear models, bias reduced estimation, and big data analytics. In addition to his research and teaching activities, she serves as an editor of some of the premier statistical journals. Please do not hesitate to contact her with your statistical consulting needs.
Please see his website http://expertise.utep.edu/node/26383