Peter Van Ness, PhD, MPH

Senior Research Scientist in Medicine (Geriatrics) and Lecturer in Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and in Medicine (Geriatrics); Co-Director, Biostatistics Core, Yale Program on Aging

Departments & Organizations

Internal Medicine: Geriatric Medicine: Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center

School of Public Health: Chronic Disease Epidemiology


Dr. Van Ness is a senior biostatistician at the Program on Aging in the Geriatrics Section of the Department of Internal Medicine of the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the Co-Director of the Biostatistics Core of the Yale Program on Aging. He specializes in the analysis of categorical and longitudinal data. His research work addresses the statistical challenges arising in clinical research with older study participants, e.g., evaluating instrument reliability, designing small sample studies, analyzing multicomponent interventions, and handling missing data. A special research interest concerns ways to integrate qualitative and quantitative analytical methods and to generate testable explanatory hypotheses with graphical statistical methods. He is currently engaged with colleagues in developing a subdiscipline called “gerontologic biostatistics” within the American Statistical Association and elsewhere. This subdiscipline seeks to promote the training of biostatisticians for conducting collaborative clinical research with geriatricians and gerontologists and to provide the basis for the development of new statistical methodologies.

In addition to his statistical training, Dr. Van Ness has pursued advanced studies in social epidemiology and religious studies, and thereby brings a rare combination of skills to the interpretation of social and cultural factors that influence the health of older populations. Dr. Van Ness is a Lecturer in the Yale School of Public Health and teaches a course there entitled “Religion, Health, and Society.” He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Religion and Health and a reviewer for several epidemiological journals. Dr. Van Ness has served on several occasions as an ad hoc member of the NIH Aging Systems and Geriatrics study section.

Education & Training

MPH Yale School of Public Health (2000)
PhD University of Chicago (1983)
Postdoctoral Fellow Yale University

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Contact Info

Peter Van Ness, PhD, MPH
Mailing Address
Geriatrics300 George Street
Suite 775

New Haven, CT 06511

Curriculum Vitae