Pitt Professor Named President-Elect of the American College of Epidemiology

PITTSBURGH, October 1, 2007Roberta B. Ness, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of the department of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and professor of epidemiology, medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, recently has been named president-elect of the American College of Epidemiology (ACE) at the organization’s 2007 annual meeting.

“It is an honor and privilege to be chosen president-elect of the College,” said Dr. Ness. “This is an organization with a great history that has represented the finest of epidemiology for the last quarter century.”

As president-elect and former chair of the College’s policy committee, Dr. Ness will continue to focus on issues affecting research nationally such as federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rule regulations, conflict of interest between researchers and industry sponsorships, and the National Institutes of Health review process of clinical research.

Over the past three decades, epidemiology has matured into a field of its own, as both an academic discipline and a field of practice in a large variety of health agencies, hospitals and research institutions. The past 20 years have been marked by a significant increase in the number of individuals who have chosen epidemiology as a career or who have entered epidemiology from such disciplines as medicine, statistics, sociology, genetics and biology. The American College of Epidemiology was incorporated in 1979 to develop criteria for professional recognition of epidemiologists and to address their professional concerns. The College has benefited from the leadership of the best epidemiologists in the world, and serves the interests of its members through sponsorship of scientific meetings, publications and educational activities, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field and advocating for issues pertinent to epidemiology. The goals of the College include:
  • Advocating for policies and actions that enhance the science and practice of epidemiology
  • Promoting the professional development of epidemiologists through educational initiatives
  • Recognizing excellence in epidemiology
  • Developing and maintaining an active membership base of both Fellows and Members representing all aspects of epidemiology
Dr. Ness has been a member of the ACE board of directors since 2004 and chair of the ACE policy committee. Recently, she became the founding chair of the Joint Policy Committee Societies of Epidemiology - the first organization to coordinate joint policy actions among 14 epidemiology societies. Dr. Ness is an associate editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology, and on the editorial boards of Annals of Epidemiology and World Health Organization Sexually Transmitted Disease Bulletin. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Epidemiology, and a member of the prestigious American Society for Clinical Investigation, Delta Omega Honorary, and the American Epidemiologic Society (AES). Dr. Ness will host the annual meeting of AES in 2008.

Her other honors include a leadership award from the Family Health Council and Laureate Award from the American College of Physicians. A frequent advisor to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Defense, she has participated in four Institute of Medicine, National Academies reports in the past two years. Dr. Ness has been at the forefront of women’s health research, among the


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