Carolyn M. Rutter, PhD

Senior Investigator


Recent publications

Curriculum vitae (CV)




Research interests and experience

  • Biostatistics: microsimulation modeling; Bayesian methods; meta-analysis; assessment of diagnostic tests; provider profiling
  • Cancer control: colorectal cancer screening; breast cancer screening
  • Mental health: depression treatment and treatment adherence

Developing biostatistical methods to advance research related to health services and health policy is important to Carolyn Rutter. She provides consistent leadership and innovation that has helped Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) grow a world-class program in biostatistics.

Dr. Rutter’s current research focuses primarily on colorectal cancer screening. She is keenly interested in applying and developing microsimulation models for colorectal cancer—and in developing methods to calibrate these models. Dr. Rutter is the principal investigator for a colorectal cancer screening project funded through the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET), a nationwide collaboration that uses comparative modeling to help understand cancer screening, prevention, and treatment.

Dr. Rutter is also a principal investigator for one of three PROSPR Research Centers focused on colorectal cancer. PROSPR is a nationwide consortium focused on better understanding how to improve the screening process (recruitment, screening, diagnosis, referral for treatment) for breast, colon, and cervical cancer. The GHRI-led project, “Studying Colorectal Cancer: Effectiveness of Screening Strategies” (SuCCESS), focuses on developing evidence to inform personalized screening recommendations, with an emphasis on identifying optimal screening regimens that maintain most or all of the benefits of intensive regimens while minimizing risks and costs and respecting patient preferences.

Dr. Rutter also has extensive experience in Bayesian modeling, including developing Bayesian meta-analytic models to examine the accuracy of diagnostic tests. Her other areas of expertise include provider profiling and statistical methods for mental health research.

Dr. Rutter is past chair of the Health Policy Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association and is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. She was GHRI’s lead statistician from 2003 to 2008 and still actively supports the Institute’s biostatistics program. She is also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington in the Departments of Biostatistics and Health Services.


Recent publications

Tiro JA, Kamineni A, Levin TR, Zheng Y, Schottinger JS, Rutter CM, Corley DA, Skinner CS, Chubak J, Doubeni CA, Halm EA, Gupta S, Wernli KJ, Klabunde C. The CRC screening process in community settings: a conceptual model for the Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jun 10. pii: cebp.1217.2013 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wernli KJ, Hubbard RA, Johnson E, Chubak J, Kamineni A, Green BB, Rutter CM. Patterns of colorectal cancer screening uptake in newly-eligible men and women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 May 3 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Liss DT, Fishman PA, Rutter CM, Grembowski D, Ross TR, Reid RJ. Specialty use among patients with treated hypertension in a patient-centered medical home. J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Feb 4 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wagner EH, Ludman EJ, Aiello Bowles EJ, Penfold R, Reid RJ, Rutter CM, Chubak J, McCorkle R. Nurse navigators in early cancer care: a randomized, controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Nov 25. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Chubak J, Aiello Bowles EJ, Tuzzio L, Ludman E, Rutter CM, Reid RJ, Wagner EH. Perspectives of cancer survivors on the role of different healthcare providers in an integrated delivery system. J Cancer Surviv. 2013 Dec 19 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Rutter CM, Johnson EA, Feuer EJ, Knudsen AB, Kuntz KM, Schrag D. Secular trends in colon and rectal cancer relative survival. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Dec 4;105(23):1806-13. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt299. Epub Oct 30. PubMed

Simon GE, Rutter CM, Peterson D, Oliver M, Whiteside U, Operskalski B, Ludman EJ. Does response on the PHQ-9 depression questionnaire predict subsequent suicide attempt or suicide death? Psychiatr Serv. 2013 Dec 1;64(12):1195-202. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2013 Sep 16. PubMed

Liss DT, Fishman PA, Rutter CM, Grembowski D, Ross TR, Johnson EA, Reid RJ. Outcomes among chronically ill adults in a medical home prototype. Am J Manag Care. 2013;19(10):e348-e358. PubMed

Hubbard RA, Johnson E, Hsia R, Rutter CM. The cumulative risk of false-positive fecal occult blood test after 10 years of colorectal cancer screening. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Sep;22(9):1612-9. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0254. Epub 2013 Jul 18. PubMed

Wernli KJ, Rutter CM, Dachman AH, Zafar HM. Suspected extracolonic neoplasms detected on CT colonography: literature review and possible outcomes. Acad Radiol. 2013 Jun;20(6):667-74. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2013.01.017. Epub 2013 Mar 1. PubMed

Rutter CM, Miglioretti DL, Savarino JE. Bayesian calibration of microsimulation models, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 2009; 104(488):1338–1350

To view more publications, please see Dr. Rutter's CV.