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Association Honors Math and Statistics Professor as Fellow

Mahlet Tadesse

Mahlet Tadesse

August 13, 2013 – The American Statistical Association (ASA) has elected Georgetown professor Mahlet Tadesse as one of this year’s ASA Fellows for her outstanding professional contributions to the field of statistical science.

ASA, which is the is the world’s largest community of statisticians, honored Tadesse and 58 other fellows during its annual Joint Statistical Meetings in Montreal, Quebec, on Aug. 6.

Tadesse, an associate professor of mathematics and statistics at Georgetown, received recognition from ASA for her “influential research on Bayesian methods” and “high-impact collaborative research in cancer informatics.”

“My research falls in the areas of biostatistics, which is statistics applied to biomedical sciences, and bioinformatics,” she explains. “I work on developing methods for analyzing genomic data, and I’m involved in a number of interdisciplinary bioinformatics and public health projects.”

Tadesse’s research focuses on the development of statistical and computational methods for the analysis of large-scale genomic and proteomic data. In particular, she has proposed Bayesian methods to identify biomarkers and to uncover cluster structures in high-dimensional data sets. These methods allow the identification of molecular signatures specific to disease subtypes.

“Patients receiving the same diagnosis often follow significantly different clinical courses. The ability to stratify patients into homogeneous groups and to identify relevant biomarkers may lead to improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies ” Tadesse says.

Tadesse, who has been an ASA member since her undergraduate years, was nominated to be an ASA Fellow by Harvard professors Rebecca Betensky and Brent Coull.

“I feel honored to be elected ASA Fellow. It’s encouraging to get recognition from fellow statisticians,” says Tadesse, who is also an adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard.

ASA Fellows are elected based on their work in industry, government and academia.

“I congratulate the 59 members who are being honored as new ASA Fellows,” ASA President Marie Davidian said in a statement. “Their collective accomplishments have contributed greatly to the advancement of statistical science and have rightfully earned them the respect and admiration of their ASA peers.”

Tadesse joins a number of other Georgetown faculty who are ASA Fellows – including Robert Groves, university provost; Edmund Gehan, professor emeritus of biostatistics; Keith Ord, professor of business; Michael Stoto, professor of health systems administration; and Ming Tan, professor and chair of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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