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Obituaries March 2014

1 March 2014 209 views One Comment

Philip E. Enterline

Sally Morton and Gary Marsh, University of Pittsburgh

Philip E. Enterline, professor emeritus of biostatistics, died January 8, 2014, at his winter home in Stuart, Florida, from complications of a recent stroke. He was 92 years old.

Enterline earned his BBA in economics from Westminster College and his MA and PhD in demography from American University in 1960. Enterline came to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 1967 as a professor of biostatistics. Before joining the university, he held academic positions at American University (1960–1965) and McGill University (1965–1967).

Prior to his academic career, Enterline held various federal government positions at the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS; 1945–1965). During his tenure there, he worked on a number of research projects concerning heart disease and tuberculosis in the then somewhat obscure field of epidemiology. His research interests eventually focused on occupational health. Through ensuing studies of asbestos workers and coal miners at the USPHS, Enterline helped formulate the conceptual and methodological groundwork for what would later become known as the modern field of occupational epidemiology. Enterline’s work investigating the health patterns of industrial populations continued when he was in Pittsburgh.

During his career at the University of Pittsburgh that spanned more than two decades (1967–1989), Enterline served as chair of the biostatistics department (1976–1983) and director of the Center for Environmental Epidemiology (1983–1986). He was principal investigator for numerous federal and private research contracts and grants, including several training grants for graduate students. Through his prolific research activities, Enterline gained a reputation as an insightful and innovative thinker and leading expert in the health effects of asbestos, man-made fibers, and arsenic.

Despite an ambitious research agenda, Enterline always found time for his students. His 1972–1975 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health training grant in industrial biostatistics turned out several PhD graduates, including Pierre DeCoufle, Otto Wong, and Gary Marsh, who went on to establish themselves as leaders in the occupational health field. Enterline became professor emeritus in 1989.

Enterline’s contributions include more than 140 publications and service on countless government, academic, and private scientific advisory or review committees, including the Health Advisory Committee for the National Bureau for Economic Research and the National Advisory Food and Drug Committee for the Food and Drug Administration. His honors include Fellow of the American Public Health Association in 1955, Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1972, and ASA Pittsburgh Chapter Statistician of the Year in 1977. Enterline was a member of numerous editorial boards of major scientific journals, including the American Journal of Epidemiology.

He is survived by his wife, Jo-Anne, and his children—John, Janis Baker, Jeffrey, Gayle Myers, Eric, and Carla Heger. Donations can be made in Enterline’s name to the Treasure Coast Hospice, 1201 SE Indian St., Stuart, FL 34997.

Rudolf Freund

Rudolf Freund—Rudi to his friends—passed away January 5, 2014. He was an ASA Fellow.

Rudi was born in Kiel, Germany, and moved with his family to the United States before WWII. His father, Ernst, was a professor of economics, and his mother, Susanne, was a French professor, so Rudi naturally wound up an academic, having studied at North Carolina State and The University of Chicago. He helped establish the computer center at Virginia Tech, then VPI, where he was a professor of statistics until 1962, when he moved to College Station to help found the Institute of Statistics at Texas A&M. He was the author of numerous textbooks.

Rudi retired in 1992 and moved his wife, Marge, to Lake Conroe and subsequently Spring, Texas. He was an active member of Northwoods Presbyterian Church and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity.

Gang Zheng

Gang Zheng

Gang Zheng

Nancy Geller, Colin Wu, and Michael Lauer

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague, Gang Zheng, who lost his battle with head and neck cancer on January 9. Gang earned his BS in applied mathematics in 1987 from Fudan University in Shanghai. After serving as a teaching assistant at the Shanghai 2nd Polytechnic University, he immigrated to the United States in 1994 and earned a master’s degree in mathematics at Michigan Technological University in 1996. He then gained admission to the PhD program in statistics at The George Washington University and earned his PhD in 2000. Immediately, he joined the Office of Biostatistics Research at the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, where he remained until his death.

Gang was a prolific and versatile statistician. His input into the Division of Lung Diseases studies was appreciated repeatedly. He also worked with DIR investigators in lung diseases and with Betsy Nabel’s genetics group. In 2010, Gang initiated and led a symposium called “Clinical Trials Past, Present, and Future,” which was broadly attended by both statisticians and other clinical trialists. In addition, Gang was an intellectually ambitious researcher in statistical methodology, publishing more than 100 papers in the areas of genetics, life testing, order statistics, and ranked sampling and categorical data. He served as an associate editor of Statistics and Its Interface and edited several journal issues, one in honor of his thesis advisor. He was the first author of a 400-page book, titled Analysis of Genetic Association Studies, which was published in 2012.

Gang was a generous and nurturing colleague who mentored new members of the Office of Biostatistics Research in both statistical research and collaboration. He directed or co-directed six PhD students, most at The George Washington University. He also mentored summer students and a post-baccalaureate fellow who went on to do his PhD at Harvard.

Gang’s efficiency, creativity, and generosity were truly inspiring. He will be sorely missed.

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