After jobs with the prestigious Center on Aging and Health at Johns Hopkins University and with George Washington University’s Biostatistics Center, Carmen Tekwe decided to return to school for a doctoral degree. With that difficult decision made, her choice about which program to attend was an easy one.
“I wanted to work with Randy Carter and UB was the place to do this,” she said. She had completed her master’s degree at the University of Florida under Carter’s mentorship, and he later joined the UB faculty as professor and associate chair of the Department of Biostatistics.
“Dr. Carter was excellent teacher and mentor to his students who went out of his way to make sure we each succeeded,” she said. “He could be tough when necessary but at the same time, he could also gently guide us when necessary. His passion for mentoring and promoting the field of biostatistics influenced me greatly, and that was why I wanted to work with him.”
Tekwe cites this faculty support as a highlight of her PhD program at UB. “I also had a lot of support from my peers which was very helpful,” she said.
She also credits her thesis work with providing new opportunities for research, travel and practical application of the knowledge she gained through coursework. Tekwe spent three months in Hiroshima, Japan, working with Carter and researchers from the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF). Her work involved developing statistical methods and models to adjust for measurement error in estimates of radiation doses suffered by atomic bomb survivors.
This field research experience, coupled with research assistantships and opportunities to travel to conferences and network with fellow biostatisticians, prepared her for her current career in research.
After completing her PhD, Tekwe was recruited by Raymond J. Carroll, PhD, of Texas A&M University to join the university as a postdoctoral fellow. She then transitioned to her current role there as an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is responsible for teaching graduate-level courses, working as a statistical collaborator with other university scientists and continuing her research studies. Her current research interest areas include measurement error modeling, statistical methods in proteomics research and radiation epidemiology.