Overview: Biostatistics + Bioinformatics

Rollins’ BIOS department is centered around methodological research, theory, collaborative research, and consulting.

Unique features within the department include:

  • Analysis of infectious diseases
  • Close work with the CDC
  • Analysis of large-scale epidemiologic studies
  • Analysis of next-generation sequencing
  • Analysis of biomedical imaging data
  • Design and analysis of clinical trials 

BIOS Degree Offerings

The master of public health (MPH) degree in biostatistics and bioinformatics (BIOS) is designed for students with strong quantitative skills and an interest in health sciences.

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The master of science in public health (MSPH) program in biostatistics (BIOS) is designed for students with strong quantitative skills and an interest in research.

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Emory College and Rollins jointly offer a five-year bachelor of arts (BA) and master of science in public health (MSPH) degree program. Through this program, students can complete a BA/BS degree at Emory College (most likely with a major concentration in Mathematics and Computer Sciences) and a MSPH in biostatistics at Rollins in five years.

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The PhD program in biostatistics (BIOS) is offered through Emory’s Laney Graduate School and is designed for people with strong quantitative skills and a background or interest in the biological, medical, or health sciences seeking to deepen their knowledge of biostatistics through advanced course work, research, analysis, and collaboration.

Angela GuinyardFor PhD student inquiries, contact the assistant director of academic programs, Angela Guinyard.
Office: GCR 314, Phone: 404-712-9643, Email: angela.guinyard@emory.edu

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BIOS students take a wide range of courses including analysis methods, statistical computing, probability theory, and more, and are encouraged to take electives in other disciplines across Rollins.

Upon enrolling in a biostatistics program, students take courses in statistical methods and theory. Methods courses focus on ways to select and apply statistical techniques that are appropriate for different types of problems. Theory courses provide rigorous instruction in the formal mathematical structure underlying the statistical techniques.

ADAP, Melissa Sherrer

The associate director of academic programs (ADAP), Melissa Sherrer, can assist with course-related questions. 
Office: GCR 316, Phone: 404-727-3968, Email: msherre@emory.edu

Melissa Sherrer


BIOS faculty are active in public health research on a national and international scale in such diverse areas as mathematical modeling of infectious diseases (like AIDS), statistical genetics, survival analysis, and statistical issues related to cardiology, breast cancer epidemiology, and neurology. Faculty collaborate with researchers across Emory University, as well as research centers, and public health organizations (CDC).


Department faculty, staff, and students are active in public health research on a national and international scale in such diverse areas as statistical genetics; bioinformatics; neuroimaging statistics; causal inference; functional data analysis; statistical computing; survival analysis; the design, management, and analysis of clinical trials; estimating equations; longitudinal analysis; Bayesian statistics; statistical methods and models for infectious diseases; and spatial statistics.

Faculty are also involved in applying state-of-the-art statistical methods to help researchers in other fields, such as HIV epidemiology, cardiology, global health, genetics, alcohol epidemiology, ophthalmology, neurology, breast cancer epidemiology, reproductive epidemiology, aging, and quality of life.


Faculty, research staff, and students in the department participate in hands-on statistical collaborations with researchers outside the department, including collaborators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Carter Center, Emory University School of Medicine and others.

Our department also coordinates the activities of multiple biostatistics cores, including the Biostatistics Consulting Center; the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design core of the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute; and the Biostatistics Core for the Emory University Center for AIDS Research.   

Students can gain hands-on experience in practical biostatistical problems through collaborative research with a biostatistics faculty member, coursework, a Global Field Experience, and a required 200-400 hour practicum. 


Faculty and students have access to a variety of desktop, laptop, and networked research computing resources. Software includes programming languages such as C, C++, Python, Perl, Java, and R, and statistical packages such as R, SAS, and SPSS. 

Rollins maintains a dedicated cluster environment and large-scale high performance computing can be conducted through cloud options or though a collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology. The department also maintains its own student computer lab and each student office is equipped with a personal computer.


The department was established in the early 1960s as the Department of Statistics and Biometry in the School of Medicine and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 1990, the department became one of six departments at Rollins. In 2008, the department expanded its name (and its mission) to the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

Contact Us

For questions related to the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, please feel free to contact Joy Hearn at joy.lavitta.hearn@emory.edu or (404) 787-8284

Send questions or comments about the BIOS website to: joy.lavitta.hearn@emory.edu

The University reserves the right to revise programs, information, requirements, regulations, or financial charges at any time. Whenever changes occur, an effort will be made to notify persons who may be affected.