Ruth M. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Biostatistics Branch


9609 Medical Center Drive
Room SG/7E142
Rockville, MD 20850


Research Topics

Dr. Pfeiffer's research focuses on statistical methods for absolute risk prediction, laboratory methods and problems arising in genetic epidemiology. This includes:

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


Dr. Pfeiffer is a tenured senior investigator in the DCEG’s Biostatistics Branch. She received an M.S. degree in applied mathematics from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, an M.A. degree in applied statistics and a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. At NCI, Dr. Pfeiffer is an active collaborator on many research projects and mentors several fellows and junior investigators. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (2007), and an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2013).

Selected Publications

  1. Pfeiffer RM, Riedl R. On the use and misuse of scalar scores of confounders in design and analysis of observational studies. Stat Med. 2015;34(18):2618-35.

  2. Pfeiffer RM. Extensions of criteria for evaluating risk prediction models for public health applications. Biostatistics. 2013;14(2):366-81.

  3. Kovalchik SA, Pfeiffer RM. Population-based absolute risk estimation with survey data. Lifetime Data Anal. 2014;20(2):252-75.

  4. Pfeiffer RM, Park Y, Kreimer AR, Lacey JV Jr, Pee D, Greenlee RT, Buys SS, Hollenbeck A, Rosner B, Gail MH, Hartge P. Risk prediction for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer in white women aged 50 y or older: derivation and validation from population-based cohort studies. PLoS Med. 2013;10(7):e1001492.

  5. Pfeiffer RM, Forzani L, Bura E. Sufficient dimension reduction for longitudinally measured predictors. Stat Med. 2012;31(22):2414-27.

This page was last updated on April 27th, 2017