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Biostatistical Research Group

Biostatistical Department

The UTHSC College of Medicine Chattanooga Office of Research has established a Biostatistical Department to assist researchers with sample size calculations, methodology as well as data analysis and manuscript writing. 

Initial Biostatistical review takes place within the IRBNet system.  Once a new project is submitted with required documents in IRBNet, the project will then be sent to one of the Biostatisticians for review.  Directions on how to register for IRBNet and create and submit a new project is located at the IRB Guidance Documents and Policies page. The link to the IRBNet site is

If you have any questions regarding Biostatistical review, you may contact Stacey Hendricks, CIM at or 423.778.3818, or through IRBNet Project Email.


Lani Gao

Dr. Lani Gao

Dr. Lani Gao is a full professor of statistics in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She worked as a post-doctoral researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital from 2010 to 2012 before joining UTC in 2012. Her primary research focuses on genetics/genomics data analysis in cancer research, statistical/machine learning for complex data, high-dimensional data analysis, and time series data analysis and statistical methods in stroke care and treatment. Starting 2014, she has been working as a biostatistical consulting at UT College of Medicine/ Erlanger Hospital, specializing in experimental design, sample size calculation, power analysis, and statistical methodology development. Dr. Gao has been awarded multiple NSF/NIH grants and UT system-wide internal grants. She collaborates extensively with faculty and residents from various departments UTCOM/Erlanger, including Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Plastic Surgery, Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pharmacy, and Critical Care.


Jenny Holcombe

Dr. Jenny Holcombe

Dr. Jenny Holcombe earned her PhD in Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement at the University of Tennessee (UTK). She is an alumni of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) where she earned her MS in industrial/organization psychology and BS in psychology. In her current position at UTC, she is responsible for teaching graduate level students in the School of Nursing and the School of Education. Her most recent research endeavors include curriculum development integrating AI tools for student learning, assessing freshman student perceptions of diversity, and evaluation of an End-of-Life communication module for use with undergraduate and graduate level nursing students. Dr. Holcombe provides research consultations and statistical support to all Doctor of Nursing Practice students in the School of Nursing at UTC as well as many physician residents, fellows, and physicians at The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga campus at Erlanger Hospital. She is especially interested in interdisciplinary collaboration as an effort to more effectively examine problems and apply solutions in real world settings.


Thein Le

Dr. Thein Le

Dr. Thein Le is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). His work focuses on developing statistical methods for network science with applications in different real-world problems. Before coming to UTC, he worked as a Research Associate at the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health under the supervision of Dr. Jukka-Pekka Onnela from 2020-2023. Dr. Le obtained his PhD in Statistics in 2020 at Michigan State University under the direction of Dr. Ping-Shou Zhong. Besides his main research interest, he is also interested in statistical consulting. During the academic year 2019-2020, Dr. Le worked as a Statistical Consultant at the Center for Statistical Training and Consulting at Michigan State University, where he consulted clients on various projects.


Ziwei Ma

Dr. Ziwei Ma

Dr. Ziwei Ma is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga since Fall 2020  and a part-time Biostatistician at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine since Fall 2021. Dr. Ma’s expertise spans mathematical statistics, and applied math/statistics. His research interests are rooted in statistics, particularly linear models, skew normal distribution, inferential models, clinical trials, and the application of machine learning in engineering, medical study, biology and econometrics. Dr. Ma contributed to academic community with about 20 publications in statistics and its applications in engineering, biomedical engineering, and econometrics. Additionally, some of his work are supported by several internal and federal venues. At UTC, Dr. Ma teaches extensive and varied, covering of courses from introductory to advanced levels of statistics and mathematics.

Jul 3, 2024