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Master Program in Biostatistics


September 2017

1st Zurich-Ulm biostatistics summer school: Advanced statistical methods in clinical epidemiology

We had a great week of discussions with Leo Held, Hein Putter, Tobias Bluhmki, Maja von Cube and Jan Beyersmann. It was an intense week but in my view totally worth the effort. I was amazed and proud seeing the progress our students made in a year, becoming biostatisticians and critical thinkers!

August 2017

Announcing the first Zürich-Ulm Biostatistics Summer School: "Advanced Statistical Methods in Clinical Epidemiology" with speakers from Ulm and Zurich as well as invited speaker Hein Putter from the Leiden University Medical Center (11.-15.9. 2017 at EBPI). You can find the summer school in the UZH course catalog of the fall semester 2017 (STA461). Overview program see below:

June 2017

On June 2nd our traditional BBQ togehter with the PhD Program in Epidmiology and Biostatistics took place. This year we were joined by yet another PhD Program: the program in Clinical Science. The more the merrier! We changed the location again, this time we were in the Forsthaus Waldegg, halfway up to the Uetliberg. The weather was great, except for a short but fierce storm, which did not affect us too much as we were well covered. Thanks to all for this great event!

April 2017

Minisymposium organized by the Institute of Mathematics' Applied Statistics Group including two Master thesis presentations from the Biostatistics Master Program and of course food and socialising!

Congratulations to Andrea and Thimo!

March 2017

The Open Data Day Hackathon was a big success, see VBZ twittering about it.

The Master Program in Biostatistics UZH participated in the organisation and some of our students particpated in the hacking of the Open Data Day Hackathon on March 4th.

The main organizer was the Zürich R Meetup Group and main sponsors were Open Data Zurich and VBZ

January 2017

Announcing the first Zürich-Ulm Biostatistics Summer School (ZUBSS) for master students: in the week of September 10-15, 2017 students from Zurich and Ulm are invited to get to know some ''Advanced Methods in Clinical Epidemiology''. The Zurich and Ulm teams of researchers in the area as well as Hein Putter from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands join forces to present their view on:

  • Clinical prediction models
  • Dynamic prediction
  • Hospital epidemiology
  • Length of stay, left-truncation etc.

The summer school will be held in Zurich and focuses on research-based teaching of the subjects including practical work on current case studies and some e-learning preparational tasks before the course week. Details to follow soon.

November 2016

On November 2nd we organized an information event for potential students including talks by our students and the scientific director Leonhard Held, the event ended with Marroni and Glühwein in the yard of Hirschengraben 84. Unfortunately, the turnout of potential students was negligible but we had a very nice afternoon with our current students and the time organizing the event was well worth it! Thanks to our great students!

October 2016

The Master Program in Biostatistics has a new URL: www.biostat.uzh.ch and it also hase it's own facebook page now!

July 2016

Biostatistics Journal Club

The participants of the journal club in the spring semester 2016 produced a very nice document on "Bayesian Inference and Stochastic Simulation" in a common effort this year. Good job! Here is the product of their hard work: Bayesian Inference and Stochastic Simulation

May 2016

3rd Biostats - Epi - Biostats BBQ

We changed the location this year: Waldhütte Geeren in Dübendorf. We were lucky with the weather in this rainy spring season, see some impressions in the pictures.

January 2016

Announcing a special topics course for the spring semester 2016:

Statistical evaluation of diagnostic and predictive accuracy

This course offers an overview of the statistical evaluation of diagnostic and predictive accuracy mainly in an ROC analysis context. Issues dealt with include the construction and interpretation of the ROC curve and the definition of related diagnostic and predictive accuracy measures. Empirical and model-based estimation of an ROC curve and inferential procedures for a single ROC curve and its summary measures follow. Selection of optimal cut-off points for decision-making is also described. Methodology for ROC-based comparison of diagnostic markers is examined. More advanced topics encountered include generalized linear modeling for ROC curves, optimal prediction with combinations of biomarkers and multiple-class ROC analysis, while Bayesian approaches, ROC analysis under verification or imperfect gold standard bias and meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy studies are also discussed. All methods are presented through examples of case studies with implementation using R.

Lecturer: Christos Nakas, University of Thessaly and Inselspital Bern

Dates, see course catalog


2015 was a busy year, it seems there was no time to write news items... We had several graduates throughout the year, master theses here and abroad, internships, a lot of new students (hopefully the numbers can be kept up like this!), many, many lectures, exercises, presentations, projects. Of course at the end of the spring semester there was our traditional BBQ together with the PhD program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, again in the lovely village of Kyburg. And in June the EBPI had a very succesfull open day: Der Gesundheit auf der Spur.

Looking back, 2015 was too busy, but a good kind of busy, working towards a high-quality education in such an important field as biostatistics. My resolution for next year? Write more news items, with pictures of moments in which we live exactly this experience together with our students, assistants, lecturers and everyone else involved!

And may the force be with us for that ;-) Eva Furrer

September 2014

By now, many of our students graduated and found jobs:

  • Florian Gerber: PhD student at I-Math UZH
  • Sih-Jing Liao: Biostatistician at Clinipace Worldwide in Tawain
  • Lukas Bütikofer: Biostatistician at CTU Bern
  • Isaac Gravestock: PhD student at EBPI UZH
  • Katarina Matthes: PhD student at IMLS UZH
  • Sarah Thommen: Biostatistician at Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  • Monika Hebeisen: soon to be a Biostatistician at SCQM Foundation

Congratulations to all of them!

May 2014

On May 28th we had the second Biostatistics BBQ - this time the weather was glorious and we could have it in the forrest near the lovely village of Kyburg. We joined up with the PhD Program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, hence it was officially a Biostats - Epi - Biostats BBQ. We will have to get an even larger bread next time!

May 2014

On May 23rd Isaac Gravestock received his master diploma at the graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Science. Lukas Bütikofer also graduated but could not come to the ceremony. Congratulations to Isaac and Lukas!

January 2014

We are proud to announce that our student Ruizhu (Fiona) Huang has been selected for an Internship in Integrated Information Sciences at Novartis AG in Basel. Fiona told us that the knowledge from our methodology lectures has been instrumental for her success  in the selection procedure. She will use her knowledge on longitudinal data analysis - acquired through her statistical consulting and her master thesis project - for her work at Novartis. Congratulations Fiona!

November 2013

On October 11 the first two graduates of our program received their master diploma at the graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Science. Congratulations to Sih-Jing Liao and Florian Gerber! Prof. Reinhard Furrer presented them with a souvenir gift from the Program including some nice chocolates.

November 2013

Our managing director Reinhard Furrer is talking at the "Lunchveranstaltungen" within the IT continuing education fall semester program which focus on the international year of statistics. The title of his talk is "Using R to statistically solve an engineering problem". More information can be found here.

September 2013

The new PhD program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics has been approved by the Board of the Life Science Zurich Graduate School in May, applications to the program are possible since July and now a website is up and running: click here!

August 2013

Announcing the Fall 2013 welcome party for our new students: September 16, 15:00 in the open space of Hirschengraben 84. Get to know your fellow students, professors and assistants!

We are offering a "Practical Introduction to the Statistical Computing Environment R" block course with Torsten Hothorn, September 9-13 at the Irchel campus such that all of our new students get a quick-start into the program, see.

June 2013

The very first Biostat BBQ took place on June 1st - the mood was cheerful in spite of the hideous weather! To be repeated...

April 2013


Starting soon: Mixed Models for Longitudinal Data with T. Hothorn, see homepage





Places still available: Bayesian Biostatistics with P. Müller and G. Rosner, see homepage

January 2013

The University council appointed Torsten Hothorn as new Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Zurich! Dr. Hothorn will already teach a course on Mixed Models for Longitudinal Data in the coming spring semester. See the media release here (in German).

November 2012

Bayesian Biostatistics, block course by Peter Müller (University of Texas at Austin) and Gary Rosner (Johns Hopkins University), June 24-28 2013. Interested external auditors and students please contact masterbiost(at)math.uzh.ch

July 2012

Article on Biostatistics by L. Held in European Science & Technology Issue 15, pages 84--85

April 11 2012

Editorial on the importance of (bio)statistics in the editorial of the current Science magazine: some good reasons to study biostatistics at the University of Zurich!

Editorial  (register for free access)

January 12 2012

The Master Program in the Biostatistics is featured in the online news of the University of Zurich:

"Ohne uns wäre vieles für die Katz"

October 28 2011, updated November 24 2011

Block course with PD Dr. Michael Höhle, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin

Statistical Methods in Infectious Disease Epidemiology

February 9, 10, 13 and 14, 2012

Interested external auditors and students please contact masterbiostat(at)math.uzh.ch for details. For detailed contents see course homepage.

August 12 2011

The first fall semester of the new Master Program in Biostatistics at UZH starts with a short and informal introductory R course given by Reinhard Furrer on September 19/20.

More informally we invite all students, all professors and assistants involved in the program to have coffee/tea and cookies in the afternoon of September 19 in the Math common room.

We are all looking forward to welcome the first class of the new program at UZH!

March 10 2011

Mark Robinson, currently co-appointed between the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, has accepted a position as an assistant professor of statistical bioinformatics at the faculty of science of UZH. Dr. Robinson will be coming to Zurich in the fall and participate in the Master Program in Biostatistics starting in spring 2012! Welcome!

February 22 2011

The Oncology Biometrics and Data Management group of Novartis Pharma AG and the Biostatistics and Computational Sciences group of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, both in Basel, have proposed to actively participate in the Biostatistics Master Program. This includes guest lectures in the modules "Statistical Methods in Clinical Research" and "Statistical Methods in Infectious Disease Epidemiology" as well as potential Master theses and/or internships at Novartis in Basel.

October 8 2010

The new master program in biostatistics has been approved by the Faculty Board on October 7 2010. The program will start in Fall 2011; the first "Masters of science in biostatistics" are expected to graduate in Fall 2012!