Elizabeth “Betz” Halloran has been awarded the 2019 Nathan Mantel Lifetime Achievement Award for her landmark contributions to statistical methods for infectious disease epidemiology, for her applications of those methods to important scientific problems, and for her service to the Statistics in Epidemiology community.
Halloran, who is a professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington and director of the Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is known as a pioneer in the field of designing and analyzing vaccine studies, including studies of HIV vaccines.
Halloran uses mathematical and statistical methods to study infectious disease. Through her work at Fred Hutch, she helps the federal government understand and prepare for infectious-disease outbreaks, and develops strategies to stop outbreaks of serious global threats such as Zika virus disease, Ebola virus disease, influenza, cholera and dengue fever.
“Currently, I am working on the important problem of how to design a study of correlates of Ebola vaccination to help pave the way to licensure for additional Ebola vaccines,” says Halloran. She is also working on how to evaluate population-level effects of vaccines.
Halloran is also director of the Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases, a program in its eleventh year, being offered now through July 24.
“Being the recipient of the Nathan Mantel Award is a great honor for me. The award has been given to numerous leaders in statistical methods in epidemiology, and I feel humbled to be included in this list,” says Halloran.
The Nathan Mantel Award is named for a longtime National Cancer Institute biostatistician, who died in 2002, whose methods allowed data from several sources or groups to be combined while avoiding confounding—when an association between an exposure and a disease doesn’t take into account other possible risk factors.
The award is given annually by the Statistics in Epidemiology Section of the American Statistical Association. Halloran will receive the award at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Denver on July 30, 2019.