Lowell Reed became the department's second chair in 1926. He started a tradition, which continues today, of the Biostatistics faculty collaborating not only in the School of Public Health but with biomedical scientists in the School of Medicine. He developed a technique for estimating the ED-50, which remains one of the most often-cited statistical papers today. His joint work with epidemiologist Wade Hampton Frost on the Reed-Frost epidemic models also remains well known. Lowell Reed was also an outstanding teacher, outshone in this arena only by his colleague Dr. Margaret Merrell.
Lowell Reed also served as Dean of the School of Public Health from 1937 to 1946, Vice-President of the University from 1946 to 1949, and went on to become Vice-President of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1949, and President of the University in 1953.