Melissa Begg's areas of focus include advancing interdisciplinary science, training, and mentorship; clinical research education; statistical methods in psychiatry and oral health; and analysis of cluster-correlated and sibling data. In 2006 she became the Co-Director of Columbia's NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which aims to bridge basic, clinical, and translational science in order to bring effective health strategies into practice more efficiently. Dr. Begg directs educational and career development programs for the CTSA. She also leads two NIH-funded career development programs to promote diversity: one aimed at college undergraduates, introducing them to careers in the public health sciences; and one aimed at diverse junior faculty, providing grant-writing advice, career support, and mentorship. A third NIH-funded career development program offers mentorship in comparative effectiveness research methods to junior and mid-level faculty.
Dr. Begg was inducted into the university's Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy in 2005, and received both the university-wide Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Mailman School Teaching Award from the Graduating Class in 2006. She was invited to join the ASPH/Pfizer Public Health Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2007, and was elected to the Board of the Association for Clinical Research Training in 2008. Formerly Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Programs, she was appointed as Vice Dean for Education in October 2010, and is overseeing the implementation of a major curriculum renewal initiative for Columbia's MPH program. She was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and is the inaugural recipient of the Lagakos Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health.