Unit Epidemiology, Statistics and Exposure Modelling
At the BfR, Unit 33 carries out epidemiological and statistical analyses, develops mathematical models and deals with methodological questions. The unit cooperates with other BfR units in these areas. Furthermore, Unit 33 conducts quantitative risk assessments and develops risk assessment models. The help of the unit is essential for developing risk assessments at the BfR, since especially quantitative risk modelling provides a substantial contribution to the evaluation of risks and can help risks managers in their decisions.
Other tasks of the Unit include the initiation, support and supervision of statistical and epidemiological projects at the BfR.
In cooperation with scientists from other BfR units, the Unit develops projects, selects suitable descriptive and analytical statistical methods, and works out sampling designs. This guarantees a detailed and statistically sound basis for all projects. A further focus is the review of published papers regarding epidemiological and statistical questions. These results may have a considerable impact on reports and risk assessment in order to protect the consumer.
The Unit offers regular in-house training courses in statistics, epidemiology and risk assessment. The aim of these courses is to ensure that the BfR scientists can continuously update their knowledge in order to carry out state-of-art research and assessments.
Tasks and objectives
- Quantitative risk assessments
- Initiation of epidemiological, statistical and experimental studies as well as involvement in the planning, data collection, evaluation, report and publication of these studies
- Statistical support of studies evaluating experimental procedures and diagnostic tests
- Statistical and epidemiological quality assurance of studies, reports, expert opinions and publications
- Review and evaluation of external studies with regard to study design, choice of model and statistical analyses
- Representation of the BfR on national and international committees and other bodies
- Organisation and implementation of in-house training courses in the fields of epidemiology, statistics and mathematical modelling
- Development and implementation of computer simulations and mathematical models for specific questions at the BfR (e.g. toxicokinetic models, network analyses)
- Development of methodological standards in the fields of epidemiology, statistics and mathematical modelling at the BfR
Main areas of research
- Quantitative risk assessment
- Development and application of methods in the field of risk modelling
- Toxicokinetic modelling
- Statistical questions at the BfR
Examples of recently carried-out projects:
Statistical analysis of lead contamination in game meat, statistical analysis of heavy metal contamination in livers and kidneys of cattle and pigs, statistical validation of diagnostic tests (leptospirosis), operator exposure models for pesticide use, database for statistical methods to improve the analyses of diagnostic tests, statistical analysis of inter-laboratory ring trials / proficiency testing , toxicokinetic models of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and dioxins in livestock.