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David DeMets Earns Top Leadership Award in Statistical Science

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MADISON — David DeMets, professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, has been named the recipient of the 2009 Marvin Zelen Leadership Award in Statistical Science.


The award recognizes an individual in government, industry or academia who, by virtue of his or her outstanding leadership, has greatly impacted the theory and practice of statistical science.


In 2001, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) honored DeMets with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, he was elected a fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials and in 2008 he was elected a fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association.


DeMets concentrates on the design, data monitoring and analysis of clinical trials, especially large, Phase III randomized clinical trials. He is well-known for his work using statistical methods to monitor interim data for early signs that the intervention under study may be causing either benefit or harm, prompting the end of the trial.


DeMets received his PhD in 1970. Following a postdoctoral appointment at the NIH, he spent ten years at the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, where he was a member of and later became chief of the biostatistics branch.


He joined the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 1982 and developed the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics. He has co-authored four texts on clinical trials.


DeMets will receive the Zelen Award on May 29, 2009, at Harvard School of Public Health during its annual Biostatistics/Schering-Plough Workshop. The influential meeting brings together statistical experts from academia, regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical industry to discuss and exchange ideas on the increasing role of large multi-national and multiregional trials for drug or medical device development.


DeMets will deliver a public lecture titled: "Challenges in Clinical Trials; Some Old and Some New."


The annual award was established to honor Dr. Marvin Zelen's long and distinguished career as a statistician and his major role in shaping the field of biostatistics. Zelen remains active today, still leading the field.

Date Published: 04/22/2009

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