Michael H. Kutner
Central Connecticut State College
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Texas A & M University
Chairman, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
After I received my B.S. degree in mathematics and physics, I was certified to teach junior high and high school students. I decided that in order to teach more effectively, it was important to pursue further education. Having always enjoyed quantitative courses that included probability and statistics, I decided to pursue a master's degree in statistics with a minor in mathematics. Upon completion of my master's degree, I joined the Mathematics Department at the College of William and Mary where I taught statistics, probability, numerical analysis and calculus courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level for five years. I really loved academic teaching and applied research and therefore I went back to graduate school to pursue a doctoral degree in statistics in order to get my "union card." My doctoral work included learning statistical techniques and procedures that were especially relevant to the biological sciences and medicine.
I joined the Department of Biometry and Statistics at the Emory University School of Medicine after completing my doctoral training. This allowed me to teach graduate students, medical students, and to pursue collaborative and methodological research with clinical faculty in the medical school. I worked on several interesting studies at the Clinical Research Center. In the cancer area, we showed that providing nutritional supplementation to undernourished advanced colon cancer patients actually worsened their survival outcome. In the surgery area, I was fortunate to work with several surgeons who believed in randomizing patients to determine the best treatment alternative. Here I was able to design and conduct randomized controlled clinical trials to compare surgical outcomes in liver disease.
In addition to working on clinical research studies, I was also publishing methodological research papers in statistical journals. My research interests in linear statistical models afforded me the opportunity to join John Neter and William Wasserman as co-authors on Applied Linear Statistical Models, 2nd edition. This popular textbook is currently in its 4th edition and is continually referred to as the "Bible."
At Emory University, I moved up the academic ranks to Associate Professor and then to Full Professor in roughly ten years. A few years later, I was asked to be Interim Chairman of the Department of Biometry and Statistics. I enjoyed the administrative responsibilities and duties and thus decided to accept the position of Director of Biostatistics in the newly reconfigured Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Over the next two years, Emory University created a School of Public Health. I was asked to serve as both Director of Biostatistics and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in this newly formed School. In my last two years at Emory, I was solely Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
In 1994, I left Emory University to join The Cleveland Clinic Foundation as Chairman of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The Foundation is a multidisciplinary environment with almost one thousand doctoral level clinical and basic science researchers. The Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology employs almost ninety individuals. Our mission is to excel in the conduct of clinical and methodologic research. My present work is both challenging and rewarding.