The Biostatistics, Informatics and Research Design (BIRD) Program

We Make Your Data Soar!

Supported through the FSU-UF Clinical and Translational Science Award

Click here for information on Health Data Access.

The Biostatistics, Informatics, and Research Design (BIRD) Program is your resource for research design support and consulting services from health data experts. The BIRD Program provides a central location to access support services related to human health data science, informatics, and clinical and translational research design including:

  • Clinical and translational research design
  • Biomedical informatics database access (e.g., OneFlorida Data Trust, i2b2)
  • Informatics and data science support
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Access to support services for health data collection

To support these services, we link FSU researchers with FSU and UF experts with NIH-supported experience in various methodological techniques including: clinical and translational research design (in collaboration with the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Research Design and Data Coordinating Center); biomedical informatics; artificial intelligence; high throughput genetics and genomics; quantitative research and data analysis (in collaboration with FSU’s Office of Clinical Research Advancement); qualitative research and data analysis (in collaboration with the FSU College of Medicine’s Network for Clinical Research, Training and Community Engagement); and measurement and evaluation in health-related research. Our team members have established funding records with NIH, which is a required component for many NIH proposals, and can serve on grants as biostatisticians and data scientists. Investigators can also consult with the BIRD Team on research design, data acquisition and management, informatics, and data analysis needs that are applicable across the entire translational research spectrum: basic research, preclinical research, clinical research, clinical implementation, population health research, and public health.



Vision: To equip clinical and translational researchers with new capabilities to answer questions that cannot be answered today. These capabilities will be enabled by new data sources and types at the UF­–FSU CTSA Hub, statewide, and nationwide. We anticipate that FSU researchers, from students to faculty, will use these new capabilities to conduct priority studies that aim to improve health outcomes.

We provide one-on-one consultations as needed, and particularly early in the design stage. Please utilize the CTSA Service Request Form to request assistance. 


In addition, we have a BIRD Program Canvas site that contains biostatistics and informatics training resources and information about the OneFlorida Data Trust, including publications, i2b2 query examples, and workshop recordings including a OneFlorida i2b2 workshop and an All of Us Workbench workshop. Enroll in the Canvas site, and enjoy the resources and workshops!

The main goals of BIRD are to:

  1. Align resources throughout FSU through collaborations among but not limited to: FSU’s College of Medicine, Innovation Hub, College of Nursing, College of Social Work, College of Communication and Information, University Libraries, Departments of Statistics, Scientific Computing, Computer Science, and the Health Data Science Initiative.
  2. Provide support for research design, informatics, and data science in collaboration with the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Research Design and Data Coordinating Center (for specialized clinical and translational research design support); FSU’s Health Data Science Initiative; the FSU College of Medicine’s Network for Clinical Research, Training and Community Engagement; and FSU’s Office of Clinical Research Advancement (for general biostatistical analysis support).
  3. Offer training workshops in research design and core data analytic skills including data acquisition, data cleaning, data analytics software (e.g., SAS, SPSS, R, and Python), statistical analysis, data mining, machine learning, and data visualization.
  4. Provide health data portals for accessing resources, including the OneFlorida Data Trust.
  5. Provide training and access to health data query, collection, and management capabilities including i2b2, Qualtrics, and REDCap.
  6. Provide easy access to consultants through the BIRD Consulting Suite. Investigators and students can submit service requests through the ticketing system: CTSA Service Request Form. 
  7. Clinical research and community engagement support services are provided by the FSU College of Medicine’s Network for Clinical Research, Training and Community Engagement (NCRT-CE). NCRT-CE services include support for: designing and initiating studies, operationalizing and implementing studies, and completing studies and disseminating findings. NCRT-CE also offers training and community engagement services. The NCRT-CE home page contains information about services provided. Investigators, coordinators, and students can request services through the CTSA Service Request Form. General questions may be directed to  


Zhe He, PhD, FAMIA (Team Lead)
Associate Professor, School of Information, College of Communication and Information

Associate Professor (courtesy), Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine, College of Medicine
Dr. He’s expertise includes biomedical and health informatics, machine learning, natural language processing, clinical research informatics, knowledge representation, and EHR data analytics. His research aims to improve population health and advance biomedical research through the collection, analysis, and application of electronic health data from heterogeneous sources. He has received two distinguished paper awards from the American Medical Informatics Association. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Eli Lilly and Company, Amazon, NVIDIA, and FSU’s Institute for Successful Longevity. Dr. He has been PI, MPI, and Co-I on 7 NIH grants (R01, R21, P01), most of which are multi-institutional and multidisciplinary projects. He is a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association. He is the recipient of 2022 Lois Lunin Award from the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). Dr. He's most recent / current NIH funding includes: R21LM013911 (MPI), P01AA029547 (Co-I, Data Scientist), U19HD089881 (Co-I, Data Scientist), R21AG061431-02S1 (MPI), R21AG061431 (PI), R01AG064529 (Co-I, Machine Learning Expert).


Hongyuan Cao, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Cao’s research interests and expertise include high dimensional and large scale statistical analysis, survival analysis, longitudinal data analysis, and biostatistics and bioinformatics. More specifically, Dr. Cao develops statistical methods for large and complex data for statistical applications in social, biological, and medical sciences. Big data is revolutionizing many scientific disciplines and requires domain knowledge and statistical and computational tools for good interpretation. Her work can provide such tools. Moreover, partnerships with substantive experts not only helps them to use the right statistical models but also synergizes her development of statistical methods. Dr. Cao was supported by a CTSA when she worked as a graduate research assistant at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has collaborated and consulted with biomedical investigators from UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Chicago, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and University of Michigan on funded projects. She has provided statistical support on multiple grants, including NIH R01 awards and NIH BD2K pre-doctoral training grants. Dr. Cao's most recent funding includes NIH 5R01DK126162 (Co-I).


Michael Killian, PhD, MSW

Associate Professor, College of Social Works

Dr. Killian is an Associate Professor at the FSU College of Social Work and has a courtesy appointment as a Professor at the FSU College of Medicine within the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine. His research focuses on pediatric organ transplant recipients and their families, adherence to medication regimens, intervention research, and posttransplant health-related quality of life and health outcomes. Dr. Killian teaches multiple courses on biostatistical approaches with health and social data including on measurement and psychometrics. His research has been funded by three different institutes within the National Institutes of Health. He has collaborated with several large pediatric hospitals including Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, UF Shands Children’s Hospital, Miami Transplant Institute at Jackson, and University of Miami Health Systems. He has provided statistical support on numerous grant proposals and awards in the USA and United Kingdom. Dr. Killian's most recent / current NIH funding includes: R21LM013911 (MPI), R21AI148849-02 (PI), 1R15MD010220-01 (Co-I), and 5R01HD077891 (statistical consultant).


Hongyu Miao, PhD

Professor, College of Nursing

Dr. Miao’s expertise has been primarily focused on clinical trial, statistical learning, network analysis, time series, and big complex data with applications in digital health, systems biology, infectious diseases, and neural development and disorders. He has led or is leading seven research projects as PI or Co-PI, including NSF/NIH funded programs. He has collaborated with many biomedical/clinical investigators on 20+ NIH funded projects, including multiple R01 awards and research center awards. Dr. Miao’s most recent / current federal funding includes: NIH 3R01NR019051-03S1 (MPI), NSF/ECCS 2133106 (Co-PI), NSF/DMS 1620957 (PI), NIH/NIDDK R01 DK126042 (Co-I), NIH/NIAID P30 AI161943 (Co-I), NIH/NCI R01 CA249896 (Co-I), NIH/NINDS R01 NS121154 (Co-I), and NIH/NINR R01 NR019051 (Co-I).

BIRD Consulting Suite

Through the Biostatistics, Informatics, and Research Design (BIRD) Consulting Suite, FSU faculty, staff, and students can have a research design, data science, and informatics consultation with a BIRD expert. These consultations are limited in scope and are intended to help researchers understand the underlying statistical, data science, analytical needs and aspects of their research design so that they can adequately plan projects.

Those who use the BIRD Consulting Suite can get personalized advice on:

  • Research Design
    • Clinical and translational research design
    • Biostatistical analysis planning
    • Grant proposal development
  • Informatics and Data Science
    • OneFlorida Data Trust and EHR data (e.g., All of Us)
    • Machine learning / Deep learning
    • Biomedical and clinical natural language processing
  • Data Management
    • Setting up a dataset for analysis
    • Secure data management using REDCap / Unity
    • Data safety and HIPAA
    • Data collection
  • Data Analysis
    • Qualitative data analysis
    • Quantitative and statistical analysis
    • High-throughput genomics and genetics   

Health Data Access

UF CTSI RDDC Services:

The UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Research Design and Data Coordinating Center (RDDC) provides the following services to FSU researchers:

Study Design and Grant Proposal Development: RDDC supports traditional design (parallel group design, cross-over design, factorial design, randomized consent design, group sequential design), adaptive design (sample size, study duration, allocation probabilities, drop/add treatment arms, subgroup enrichment), and other designs (micro-randomized designs with individual and dynamic tailoring, platform trials with multiple interventions at one platform, pragmatic trials).

Statistical Data Analysis: RDDC supports analyzable data preparation, statistical modeling and inference, and results interpretation.

Data Management and Secure Data Sharing: RDDC supports electronic data capture, study monitoring, and data analysis. RDDC also helps investigators develop and apply technologies for privacy-preserving data collection and analysis. 

Data Collection and Data Cleaning: RDDC supports data quality check, data collection, and data cleaning

Please submit all BIRD service requests to the CTSA Service Request Form. We will triage tickets to the RDDC as needed. 

Last Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2023 at 4:34 PM