Dr. Garnet Anderson is Senior Vice President and Director of the Public Health Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a recipient of the Fred Hutch 40th Anniversary Endowed Chair.
Dr. Anderson received her Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Washington in 1989. She has been a faculty member at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s division of Public Health Sciences since that time. Her primary interests are in the design and analysis of randomized trials, women’s health and chronic disease prevention.
Dr. Anderson is best known for her leadership role in the Women’s Health Initiative, a national effort to test methods to reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and fractures related to osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. In 2002, she and her WHI colleagues reported that menopausal estrogen-plus-progestin therapy increased the risk of breast cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke and blood clots. These findings led to a rapid reduction in use of these hormones. Subsequent analyses led by Hutch colleagues estimated these changes prevented 126,000 breast cancer diagnoses and saved approximately $35.2 billion in direct medical expenses in the U.S. alone over 10 years after the trial. As principal investigator of the Fred Hutch-based WHI Clinical Coordinating Center, she oversees the integration of many different studies within this large program. One such study is Life and Longevity After Cancer (LILAC), a program to examine late- and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment among 13,000 aging cancer survivors. She also serves as a statistician with the SWOG Statistical Center and has contributed to local efforts to develop and evaluate prevention and screening methods for ovarian cancer.