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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Ruth Pfeiffer, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

NCI Shady Grove | Room 7E142


Dr. Pfeiffer is a tenured senior investigator in the Biostatistics Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), National Cancer Institute (NCI). She received an M.S. degree in applied mathematics from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, and an M.A. degree in applied statistics and a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics—both from the University of Maryland, College Park. At NCI she is an active collaborator on many research projects and mentors several fellows and junior investigators. Her research focuses on statistical methods for absolute risk prediction, problems arising in molecular and genetic epidemiologic studies, and the analysis of data from electronic medical records. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, an elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, and an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Research Interests

  • Mixture models and applications
  • Methods for high-dimensional data
  • Absolute risk modeling


  • Absolute Risk: Methods and Applications in Clinical Management and Public Health. Pfeiffer RM, Gail MH. Chapman & Hall. Boca Raton, FL 2018.


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