Elizabeth “Betz” Halloran, professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine today.
Halloran is a pioneer in the field of designing and analyzing vaccine studies, and her work has helped scientists and public health officials figure how to stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases.
Halloran is one of 100 new members announced Monday, Oct. 21, during the Academy’s annual meeting. The distinction recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service and is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
Halloran will be inducted into the Academy, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, “for pioneering the development of statistical methods and modeling for evaluating vaccines in populations, and contributions to evaluating direct and indirect effects of vaccines and improving design and analysis of vaccine studies,” the Academy said.
“Being elected to the National Academy of Medicine is an enormous honor and recognition of years of research,” Halloran said. She is the 23rd faculty member affiliated with the UW School of Public Health to be elected to the Academy, and the only one from the UW this year.
Halloran is an adjunct professor of applied mathematics at the UW and director of the Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Through her work, 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.
One of Halloran’s greatest contributions, she said, has been founding and directing the Summer Institute for Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases through the Department of Biostatistics. The summer program has trained 2,100 participants over the past 11 years. “This has had a profound effect on the next generation of researchers in my field,” Halloran said.
Earlier this year, Halloran was awarded the 2019 Nathan Mantel Lifetime Achievement Award for her landmark contributions to statistical methods for infectious disease epidemiology. She has been on faculty at the School of Public Health since 2005.
“These newly elected members represent the most exceptional scholars and leaders whose remarkable work has advanced science, medicine, and health in the U.S. and around the globe,” said Victor J. Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine. “Their expertise will be vital to addressing today’s most pressing health and scientific challenges and informing the future of health and medicine for the benefit of us all.”