Open Access
February 2022 A Conversation with Ross Prentice
Li Hsu, Charles Kooperberg
Author Affiliations +
Statist. Sci. 37(1): 143-158 (February 2022). DOI: 10.1214/21-STS829


Ross L. Prentice received his B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo and his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He joined the University of Washington (UW) and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (the Hutch) in 1974, and is currently Professor of Biostatistics at these institutions. He was Senior Vice President at the Hutch, and Director of its Public Health Sciences Division, for more than 25 years.

Dr. Prentice’s expertise and research interests are in the fields of biostatistics, epidemiology, and disease prevention. He played a central role in the conception, design, and implementation of the Women’s Health Initiative. In statistical and medical literature he has over 500 scientific papers, including more than 40 with 500 or more citations. His substantial contributions to the theory of population and clinical research include the use of surrogate endpoints and case-cohort designs and other areas such as survival analysis, nutritional epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, biomarkers, and measurement error. Dr. Prentice is recognized for his mentoring of students and junior colleagues, and for his generous collaborations.

Dr. Prentice has received numerous awards for his work, including an honorary doctorate in mathematics from the University of Waterloo, the Mantel Award for Lifetime Contributions to Statistics in Epidemiology from the American Statistical Association, the Mortimer Spiegelman Award from the American Public Health Association, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies Presidents’ Award and RA Fisher Award, the Marvin Zelen Leadership Award for Outstanding Achievement in Statistical Science from Harvard University, the American Association of Cancer Research/American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, and the American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Medicine in 1990. The Ross L. Prentice Endowed Professorship of Biostatistical Collaboration was created at the UW in 2005 and has been awarded every year since its inception. The interior space of the Public Health Sciences building at the Hutch has been named the Ross L. Prentice Atrium. In his spare time, Ross enjoys sports including water skiing, golf, running, and spending time with his wife, Didi, and with his daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. He ran daily from when he was in his 20s until his knees objected about 10 years ago.

This interview took place with Li Hsu and Charles Kooperberg via Zoom in December 2020.


We want to thank Garnet Anderson, Jianwen Cai, Tom Fleming, Jack Kalbfleisch, and Suresh Moolgavkar for suggestions during the preparation of this conversation. We want to especially thank Noelle Noble for helping us with transcribing, editing, and organizing this interview.


Download Citation

Li Hsu. Charles Kooperberg. "A Conversation with Ross Prentice." Statist. Sci. 37 (1) 143 - 158, February 2022.


Published: February 2022
First available in Project Euclid: 19 January 2022

MathSciNet: MR4373322
zbMATH: 07474202
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/21-STS829

Keywords: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center , nutritional epidemiology , Survival analysis , University of Washington , University of Waterloo , Women’s Health Initiative

Rights: Copyright © 2022 Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Vol.37 • No. 1 • February 2022
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