School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Biostatistics & Research Database

This multi-disciplinary Core has primary responsibility for the design and development of research databases and for ensuring that all Projects are well-planned and are using appropriate experimental designs as well as for ensuring that planned statistical analyses are suitable to the experimental design and study endpoints. This Core will also oversee forms/survey instrument development for data acquisition and will be responsible for devising data handling algorithms, quality control procedures, and preparation of interim reports (e.g., recruiting updates, adverse events) for study investigators as well as for the data safety and monitoring committee. An important task assigned to this Core will be to provide assistance to investigators in the pilot study program on feasibility, design, analysis, interpretation, and data presentation issues related to their studies.

Principal Investigator: Judith Abrams, Ph.D.
Co-PI's:
Amy Pienta, Ph.D. and David Womble, Ph.D.


Amy Pienta, Ph.D.

Amy Mehraban Pienta is Acquisitions Director at ICPSR. She is also a research affiliate of the University of Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging and the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. At ICPSR, she oversees new data acquisitions. Major responsibilities include identifying new data collections in the social sciences, negotiating with potential data depositors, strategic planning for new data acquisitions, and developing appraisal standards for data. Pienta's primary research interests are retirement and health in later life. She has studied women's retirement behavior, labor force exits of African-American and white men, the joint retirement behavior of married couples, and the relationship between various social statuses and health. She is also part of the Center for Urban African American Health (CUAAH) at Wayne State University, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). As part of the center, she and her colleague Melissa Franks are studying the effectiveness of a dyadic couple intervention to remediate unhealthy lifestyle behaviors among African-American cardiac rehabilitation patients. She is also involved in developing a set of contextual measures to be used in the center projects, and she co-directs the biostatistics core.