Gerald van Belle, PhD, MA

Professor Emeritus, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Professor Emeritus, Biostatistics
Dr. van Belle holds a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Department Biostatistics. He served as chair of the former from 1991 to 1998 at which time he returned to regular faculty status.

Dr. van Belle has served as Director of the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety from 1991 to 1998. Other positions that he has held at the University of Washington include Director of the Graduate Program in Biostatistics and Biomathematics in the Department of Biostatistics, and Director of the Coordinating Center for the Study of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Prior to that time, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics at Florida State University.

Dr. van Belle was a consultant to the Antiepileptic Drug Development Program at the National Institutes of Health, a member of the Data Monitoring Board of the Veterans’ Administration Collaborative Study of Status Epilepticus, and member of the Editorial Board of Epilepsia. . He was a member of the Research Committee of the Health Effects Institute (1993-2001), a member of the Board on Environmental Studies in Toxicology, National Research Council from 1993 to 1996.

He has been elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the International Statistical Institute. In 1985 he received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Washington.

He has authored or co-authored over 120 publications in refereed journals. With Lloyd Fisher he has authored, Biostatistics: A Methodology for the Health Sciences, a 1993 Wiley publication. He first-authored the second edition (van Belle, G., Fisher, L., Heagerty, P. and Lumley, T.) which appeared in 2004.

Statistical Rules of Thumb, also published by Wiley, appeared in 2003. He is currently working on a second edition to appear in 2008 (published by Wiley).

He has been a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration since 1983 serving as a member of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee. He was Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center in 2000-2002.

He was co-principal investigator of the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center (NAAC) located at the University of Washington (2000-2005).

Currently he chairs the Human Subjects Review Committee of Group Health Cooperative, Seattle. He also chairs the External Scientific Advisory Committee of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. He serves on many other advisory committees in Alzheimer’s research and environmental health. Other work involves a book on the design of experiments in the health sciences (to be published by Wiley).

He received a B. A. degree and an M.A. degree in Mathematics and a Ph.D. degree in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Toronto.

He is married to Johanna van Belle, M.D. They have five children and nine grandchildren. They have lived in Seattle, Washington, since 1974.

Contact Information

Box: 357232
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195-
Tel: 206-543-8634

Research Interests

  • Experimental design, data characterization, and analysis with emphasis to neuro-degenerative diseases & environmental studies, air pollution effects on health, and links between daily fluctuations in air pollution and morbidity & mortality statistics


PhD, Mathematics, University of Toronto (Canada), 1967
MA, Mathematics, University of Toronto (Canada), 1964


Analysis of longitudinal data from observational studies of Alzheimer disease with particular emphasis on cognitive status.
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