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Monday, March 25, 2013

University of Louisville researchers highlight use of statistics to promoting better health

National Public Health Week April 1-7 will give University of Louisville professors the chance to highlight the importance of statistics to promotion of better health.

This year is the International Year of Statistics and Dr. Doug Lorenz, assistant professor of bioinformatics and biostatistics, is using the occasion to help health care workers recognize the signs of child abuse. He first analyzed statistics on the number, shape and location of bruises on children younger than four. This research then led to the creation of the TEN-4 rule which is a guide to help professionals differentiate between bruises resulting from abuse and those due to accidental trauma. Lorenz first became involved in this practical application of statistics through UofL’s Statistical Consulting Center.
“The school’s biostatistic group is one of our strongest departments; faculty are highly knowledgeable in a variety of statistical methods and modeling applications and take a keen interest in training the next generation of statisticians to be ready for new waves of analytical challenges facing the country,” said Dr. Craig H. Blakely, dean of the UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences.
Dentistry is another area in which the university is using statistics to promote health. Two UofL biostaticians, Dr. Somnath Datta and Dr. Guy Brock, have received grants to support their work in dental research. Datta hopes to identify new causes of cavities in children and to evaluate the proper balance of fluoride needed to prevent tooth decay but not staining tooth enamel.
Brock is working with dental researcher Dr. Partha Mukhopadhyay to determine further causes of cleft palates.
The UofL Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics will host a summer research conference for the Southern Regional Council on Statistics in June at Montgomery Bell State Park in Tennessee. For more information, click here.
From UofL