Hankinson honored during annual Faculty Convocation

UMass Amherst Professor of Epidemiology Susan Hankinson Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy

Professor of Epidemiology Susan Hankinson (left) with
Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy at the annual Faculty Convocation

October 19, 2017

Susan Hankinson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, was presented with the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy during the annual Faculty Convocation held October 11th in the Campus Center Auditorium. She was among eight UMass Amherst faculty members honored during the ceremony.

“I was surprised, but incredibly honored to receive this recognition – especially after looking at the accomplishments of the other honorees,” says Hankinson. “I am fortunate – I love the research I do, and the multidisciplinary group I work with, but receiving this award makes it that much more special.”

Each was nominated by a faculty colleague, department head or chair, or their dean, and a selection committee then chose the honorees with consideration of who had, in recent years, received national or international awards, been elected to prestigious societies or academies, or been awarded significant external funding.

“Sue has made outstanding accomplishments in research while serving as Chair of the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Department. She has contributed in so many ways to the School of Public Health and Health Sciences and to her department, and is highly deserving of this university recognition,” says Marjorie Aelion, Dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

Hankinson’s primary scientific interest has been in determining the role of lifestyle factors (e.g., adiposity and dietary intake), as well as exogenous and endogenous hormones to the risk of breast cancer, and improving current breast cancer risk prediction models. She has broad expertise in the use of novel biomarkers in epidemiologic research. Her work has increased our understanding of the role of endogenous hormones to the risk of breast cancer in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Her research team also published the first comprehensive assessment of the addition of plasma hormones to risk prediction models, finding that the assessment endogenous hormones improved cancer risk prediction among postmenopausal women.

Hankinson has conducted research for more than 25 years within the long-running Nurses’ Health Study (NHS and NHSII). Its cohort studies are among the largest and best-known investigations into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. She was the principal investigator of the NHS from 2006 to 2011 and remains a senior investigator with the studies.

She has published more than 500 articles in peer-reviewed publications. Since 1992, her work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health. Hankinson served as a Susan G. Komen Foundation scholar for six years, on numerous NIH, Department of Defense, and foundation study sections, and serves on multiple external advisory boards.

Details about all faculty honorees can be found here.