The American Statistical Association has honored Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center biostatistician Dr. M. Elizabeth “Betz” Halloran with its 2019 Nathan Mantel Lifetime Achievement Award. Halloran, a member of the ASA, was honored for her landmark contributions to statistical methods for infectious disease epidemiology and her applications of those methods to important scientific problems.
She will receive the honor July 30 during a ceremony at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Denver, Colorado. The award, which comes with $1,000 and a plaque, was named in honor of the late biostatistician Nathan Mantel in recognition of his “seminal and pivotal” contributions to statistics in epidemiology.
Halloran is a world leader in using mathematical and statistical methods to study infectious disease. She is a pioneer in the field of designing and analyzing vaccine studies, including studies of HIV vaccines. She is director of the Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases. Headquartered at Fred Hutch, this center helps the federal government understand and prepare for infectious-disease outbreaks. Her work is used to develop strategies to stop outbreaks of serious global threats such as Zika virus disease, Ebola virus disease, influenza, cholera and dengue fever. Halloran is also the founder and director of the Summer Institute for Statistics and Modeling of Infectious Diseases, which this month will take place for the 11th time at the University of Washington, where she is a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology and an adjunct professor of mathematics.
Her other awards and honors include being named a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for which she chairs the Section on Statistics. In 2010, she was awarded a MERIT Award for Methods for Evaluating Vaccine Efficacy from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In addition to authoring numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, Halloran is first author of the book “Design and Analysis of Vaccine Studies” (2010, Springer), which is a leading resource on statistical methods for vaccine studies.
Previous recipients of the Nathan Mantel Award from Fred Hutch include the late Dr. Norman Breslow, a scientist, scholar and internationally acclaimed leader in biostatistics; and biostatistician Dr. Ross Prentice, former senior vice president and director of the Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division. He develops methods used in the design and analysis of clinical and population studies, including the Women’s Health Initiative.
— Based on an American Statistical Association news release
Kristen Woodward, a former associate editor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, had been in communications at Fred Hutch for more than 20 years. Before that, she was a managing editor at the University of Michigan Health System and a reporter/editor at The Holland Sentinel, a daily in western Michigan. She has received many national awards for health and science writing. She received her B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.