Elizabeth (Beth) J. Atkinson is an assistant professor of biostatistics and a statistical geneticist in the Department of Health Sciences Research at Mayo Clinic. She 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 gastroenterological and neurological diseases. Additionally, she has collaborated with Mayo Clinic's Osteoporosis and Bone Biology Laboratory for more than 29 years, including work on various clinical trials and population-based studies.
- Infrastructure. Within Mayo Clinic's statistical genetics group, Atkinson has provided leadership in the development of infrastructure and education to handle rapidly changing data sources and methodologies. She has also been instrumental in the local support of the R software environment.
- Survival analysis methodology. Atkinson is currently collaborating with Terry M. Therneau, Ph.D., and Cynthia (Cindy) S. Crowson, Ph.D., on a new survival analysis book, as well as updates to the survival package within R.
- Comorbidities. Atkinson studies the influence of comorbidities on the aging process.
- Machine learning. The use of machine learning for prognostic risk models is investigated by Atkinson.
Significance to patient care
In the genetics projects, the goal of Atkinson and colleagues is to identify a series of genetic factors that, when combined with known lifestyle factors, 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.