Presently, the Biostatistical Centre is an informal enterprise of statisticians working in the biomedical field. The principal aim of the centre is to raise the quality and scope of biostatistical knowledge in Slovenia. Additionally, we have set ourselves some other goals:
- Increasing the number of people employed in the field of biostatistics, which is a precondition for increasing the level of expertise and covering as many aspects of biostatistics as possible.
- Establishing new or enhancing existing international co-operation and enabling primarily younger colleagues to reside in top-level biostatistical centres abroad for longer periods of time.
- Promoting co-operation of Slovenian biostatisticians in terms of consulting and research. The history of statistics in Slovenia is mainly a history of individuals, finding motivation for study, professional development and research each within his/her own work environment. Hence, it is surprising that in spite of the daily workload (teaching, consulting, data analysis) and the lack of tradition and external incentives we have nevertheless made a considerable amount of original contributions to the field of statistics. We are therefore convinced that through co-operation we can achieve much more, so joining forces within research projects is one of the main goals of the centre.
The Biostatistical Centre hosts the following activities:
- Lectures and seminars. Lectures or seminars are organised on a monthly basis with invited speakers from Slovenia and abroad. The scope of expertise required from the audience is very wide and the only criterion for selecting the topics is relevance for the field of biostatistics. [Past Events]
- Professional co-operation. Since biostatisticians are employed in very different fields in Slovenia (biology, medicine, biotechnology, pharmaceutical industry), each of us is specialised for a rather narrow field of statistics. It is therefore feasible to work together on problems transcending an individual's field of expertise, thus producing better results. The other field of co-operation is software development, which has already proved fruitful in the past (an example is the koq function), while the majority of software has been developed individually or within existing teams. [Software]
- Research. Even though existing, research co-operation could be markedly expanded. That would lead to an increase in the number of papers published in statistical (and possibly epidemiological) journals. Since the graduate study of statistics has commenced at the University of Ljubljana, supervision of Masters and Doctoral theses should become an important aspect of research co-operation, extending eventually to published papers. We should also strive for participating in international projects and consider organising either a major international conference (perhaps of the ISCB) or more narrowly focused international conferences. [Research]
- Organisation of courses. The courses are aimed primarily at the Slovenian audience, although an international summer school might be organised in the future.
- Co-operation with neighbouring fields. Among the disciplines similar or complementary to statistics, data mining is extremely well developed in Slovenia, so co-operation should be established with research groups from that field.
The web pages of the Biostatistical Centre are maintained by Prof. Janez Stare, Assist. Nataša Kejžar and Assist. Prof. Gaj Vidmar from the Institute of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics.