Rebecca R. Carter is passionate about knowledge discovery for social good and lives for wrangling messy data. She earned her Ph.D in epidemiology and biostatistics from Case Western Reserve University. Rebecca believes in building new opportunities in innovation and discovery with open data, and was recently named to the 2018 NASA Datanaut Corps.
Rebecca loves exploring new ways to ask about emerging topics in today's society by merging the power of crowdsourcing with epidemiology. Her commitment to knowledge discovery for social good has led her on a journey of developing a toolkit to confront, analyze, and visualize large scale complex data such as pharmaceutical invoices, surveys of populations with minimal representation, and text without formal organization or structure.
She weaves statistical methods and computational inference by linking and combining publicly available and alternative data from different sources for the same overlapping population to build a complete picture of health. With this approach she has answered questions surrounding determinants of health (ie: the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and. the person's individual characteristics and behaviors) around complex public health issues such as ovarian cancer survivorship as well as access to health information. She is particularly interested in consulting engagements in these public-facing questions.
She has been interviewed on NPR’s “The Sound of Ideas” and given talks around the city of Cleveland on critical public health issues such as antibiotic resistance and the consequences of misconceptions and attitudes concerning antibiotics. She believes in inclusive strategies for engaging clinicians, nurses, and patients alike in their role of preserving antibiotics for the future and taking practical actions toward responsible antibiotic use.
Her career in research began over ten years ago in adolescent addiction psychiatry. She examined the link between self-centered/narcissistic behavior and addiction, exploring where volunteering and other other-oriented/altruistic actions can serve as a potential option to counter self-centered behavior in teenagers with substance dependency disorder. Since then Rebecca has worked in a wide range of cross disciplinary fields by conducting investigations in global pharmacovigilance in the pharmaceutical industry, examined vulnerable and atypical populations with the federal government and teaching hospitals, and served as a statistical consultant with partners in computer science, technology, and cancer research.
Rebecca is fully committed to science communication and increasing accessibility to science knowledge and education. She believes upcoming scholars deserve to take ownership of their own research questions and advance their expertise and portfolios forward with their name at the top. She coaches people in both academia and industry to become engaged and productive independent scholars in their respective fields, specializing in coaching scholarly writing and communication for non-native English speakers.