Rebecca Betensky to Chair Biostatistics at NYU

We wish to congratulate Rebecca Betensky on her new role as Chair and Professor of Biostatistics at New York University’s College of Global Public Health, which begins on October 1.
Rebecca joined the faculty in 1994 as an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Biostatistics in 2000. She was appointed Professor of Biostatistics in 2007.
Rebecca has had a distinguished research career in the fields of survival analysis, biomarker discovery, and clinical trials in studies of neurologic diseases and cancer. She has made central contributions to the development and application of methods for dependent truncation, analysis of biomarkers, and other high-dimensional data. She has applied these approaches in studies on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and glioblastoma, among others. In recognition of these contributions, she was named Fellow of the ASA and ISI, and was awarded the Spiegelman Award from the APHA. She has been extremely active in our profession, serving as an associate editor for the journals Biometrics, Biostatistics, Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference, and Lifetime Data Analysis, a standing member of the NIH Biostatistics study section BMRD, and on the organizing committee for the Joint Statistical Meetings. She is well respected in the neurological and cancer fields as well, currently serving as member of the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Counselors for Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology and statistical editor for Annals of Neurology. She has served on many advisory committees, including as a standing member of the NIH Cancer Biomarkers study section, a member of committees convened by the Institute of Medicine, and co-chair of the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients Technical Advisory Committee.
Rebecca has held a number of impactful roles in the Harvard medical community, particularly with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where has served as director of the MGH Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s Biostatistics Program since 2008. Additionally, in 2017 she became director of the MGH Department of Neurology’s Biostatistics Consultative Service. She also led or co-led the Biostatistics program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center from 2002-2015. She directed the HST 190 Biostatistics course for HMS/HST medical students from 2005-2016, for which she received the Director’s award in 2017.
Here at Harvard, Rebecca’s contributions to our Department, School, and University have been many and significant. She has served as director of the Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program since 2011. She was awarded and has successfully directed the T32 Training Program in Neurostatistics and Neuroepidemiology since 2004. She spent five years (2003-2008) as co-director of the School’s Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) Training Program, before becoming director of our department’s diversity programs in 2008, a position she held for nine years. During this time, the department’s Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences program for minority and underrepresented undergraduates received the Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award from the American Mathematical Society. She also spent fifteen years (2002-2017) as the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center’s Director of Statistics. Rebecca has been a tremendous teacher and mentor to students and postdoctoral fellows in Biostatistics and in the Harvard community more generally.
We wish Rebecca all the best in her new role at New York University. Please join us in expressing our deep gratitude for her many important contributions to the Department, the School, and the fields of biostatistics, cancer, and neurology.