Roberta B. Ness, M.D., M.P.H., a recognized expert in women’s health research, became dean of The University of Texas School of Public Health November 1, 2008. She is the School’s fourth dean since it was established in 1969. Dr. Ness also holds the M. David Low Chair in Public Health, is a professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Disease Control, and Vice President for Innovation at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and past-President of the American College of Epidemiology. She is President-Elect of the American Epidemiological Society.
Dr. Ness received her M.D. from Cornell University and her M.P.H. from Columbia University. She has been at the forefront of women’s health research, being one of the first to propose the research paradigm now termed “gender based biology” in her book entitled, Health and Disease among Women (Oxford U Press, 1999). In her most recent book, Innovation Generation (Oxford U Press, 2012), which is based on the highly successful program she developed at the UT School of Public Health, she provides the tools needed to think “outside the box.” This book and the course provide proven techniques to expand the ability to generate original ideas, which will help scientists develop new strategies to prevent many common chronic diseases.
Dr. Ness is a frequent advisor to the National Institutes for Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Department of Defense. She has taken part in several Institute of Medicine, National Academies’ reports.
Dr. Ness is past-President of the American College of Epidemiology and has served as a member of its board of directors since 2004. Recently, she became the founding chair of the Joint Policy Committee of the 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 WHO STD Bulletin. She is an elected member of the prestigious American Society for Clinical Investigation, Delta Omega Honorary, and the American Epidemiologic Society.
Dr. Ness was formerly chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health where she was a professor of epidemiology, medicine, and obstetrics & gynecology. She also served as director of the Epidemiology of Women’s Health Program in the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Ness was on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh beginning in 1993 and served as interim dean from 2005-2006. Prior to 1993 she was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.