Elizabeth (Beth) J. Atkinson is an assistant professor of biostatistics and statistical geneticist in the Department of Health Sciences Research who collaborates with a number of investigators across a wide range of medical areas. Recently, much of her effort has been directed toward better understanding the role genetics plays in various gastroenterology and neurology diseases. Additionally, she has collaborated with Mayo Clinic's Osteoporosis and Bone Biology Laboratory for more than 24 years, including various clinical trials and population-based studies.
Within Mayo's statistical genetics group, Atkinson has provided leadership in the development of infrastructure and education to handle the rapidly changing data sources and methodologies. Recently, she has been focusing on the use of gradient boosting as a way to produce improved prediction models and has been using population data to understand the interrelationships between various medical conditions. Specific focus areas include:
- Genomewide association studies
- Influence of comorbidities on osteoporosis
- Gradient boosting methods
Significance to patient care
In the genetics projects, the goal of Atkinson and her colleagues is to identify a series of genetic factors that, when combined with known lifestyle factors, will lead to better detection and treatment of specific medical conditions.
Atkinson's work in osteoporosis has the potential to significantly impact how patients with osteoporosis are diagnosed and treated. Using new imaging approaches, the research group is attempting to identify patients at increased risk of fracture before currently available tools are able to do so.