Roberta B. Ness, M.D., M.P.H. is an internationally recognized expert in medicine and public health. She is dean of The University of Texas School of Public Health, one of the largest such Schools in the nation. Dr. Ness holds the M. David Low Chair in Public Health and is a professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Disease Control. She is an adjunct professor in the department of epidemiology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and at the University of Pittsburgh and adjunct professor in the departments of medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Ness is a a fellow of the American College of Physicians, member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, and member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.
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 served as interim dean from 2005-2006. Prior to joining the Pittsburgh faculty in 1993 she was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Ness received her M.D. from Cornell University and her M.P.H. from Columbia University. Dr. Ness 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 (1999). In 290 peer-reviewed publications and over 20 federally funded grants, Dr. Ness has explored the epidemiology of ovarian cancer, preeclampsia, and pelvic inflammatory disease; adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes; links between reproductive history and cardiovascular disease; and bacterial sexually transmitted infections. Dr. Ness is also known for her work on teaching innovation. She is currently principal investigator on a training grant on innovative thinking funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). She recently authored Innovation Generation, an instructional program for innovative thinking (due out 2012, Oxford U Press). 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 half a dozen Institute of Medicine, National Academies’ reports and has provided expert testimony to many more.
Dr. Ness is President-elect of the highly selective American Epidemiologic Society and past-President of the American College of Epidemiology. She was 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. Other honors include a 1996 Leadership Award from the Family Health Council and the 2006 Laureate Award from the American College of Physicians. She was selected by the Society for General Internal Medicine as the 2008 Distinguished Professor of Women’s Health. In 2011 she was named as a U.S. Presidential appointee to the Mickey Leland Center for Environmental Air Toxicant Research.