Research beginnings at the Mayo Clinic - Dr. Henry Plummer joins William Worrall Mayo and his sons as the 4th partner in the Mayo Practice. He urges Drs. Mayo to consider a research program as a necessary and vital part of the practice, and he introduces the unit medical record for each patient in 1907.
Establishment of the first diagnostic index (Plummer-Root file) - Dr. Plummer devises a diagnostic index patterned after the 1888 Nomenclature of Diseases of the Royal College of Physicians. Two sophisticated coding systems were implemented on 5 x 7 index cards to catalog all medical diagnoses and surgical procedures. These systems comprise the foundation of the existing data infrastructure used by the department today.
First biostatistician at the Mayo Clinic - Dr. Halbert Dunn was the first biometrician hired by the Mayo Clinic. He initiated the IBM coding system in medical statistics.
First biostatistics department at the Mayo Clinic - Biometry and Statistical Department was created to apply the latest methodology in analyzing medical data.
Re-organization of the biostatistics department - Dr. Joseph Berkson was named (“Berkson’s bias”) Head of the Division of Biometry and Medical Statistics. He remained as the Chair until 1964.
Re-engineering of the indexing system using the IBM punch card technology - Dr. Joseph Berkson introduced a medical and surgical index that employed the new IBM Hollerith punch card.
Establishment of the Department of Medical Statistics, Epidemiology and Population Genetics - The department was re-organized as the Department of Medical Statistics, Epidemiology and Population Genetics, and Dr. Leonard Kurland was named as the Chair.
Establishment of the Rochester Epidemiology Project - Dr. Kurland initiated the population-based Rochester Epidemiology Project with funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Re-organization and Establishment of the Department of Health Sciences Research - The department was re-organized under 4 divisions (as they exist today) and Dr. Jack Whisnant was named as the Chair. Subsequent department Chairs were Dr. Joseph Melton, III, 1993-1994; Dr. Michael O'Fallon, 1994-2000; Dr. Colum Gorman 2000-2001; Dr. Sherine Gabriel 2001-2007. The Chair since 2007 is Dr. Veronique Roger.