In 2013, Professor Susan Murphy of the Department of Statistics was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant,” for her work on the development of methodologies to evaluate and improve long-term courses of treatment for individuals with chronic illnesses.

Murphy is one of only five statisticians—and the first female statistician—to receive this prestigious fellowship, which is given to individuals who exhibit exceptional creativity and an accomplished track record in their field, coupled with a potential for remarkable future work.

The model Murphy developed, dubbed Murphy’s Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART), allows researchers to test the efficacy of adaptive interventions, helping clinicians personalize treatments to individual patients. Her model and research has wide applicability to health care, and to the treatment of such chronic conditions as HIV/AIDS, drug addiction, and ADHD.