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Obituaries for March 2022

1 March 2022 No Comment

L. Adrienne Cupples

Submitted by Boston University School of Public Health Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni

    L. Adrienne Cupples—professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and founding chair of the department of biostatistics at Boston University School of Public Health (BU SPH), as well as a beloved teacher, scholar, and colleague—passed away peacefully on January 13, 2022, at her home.

    Adrienne joined the faculty at BU SPH in 1981 and, throughout 40 years, she advanced statistical science, particularly in the area of statistical genetics/genetic epidemiology. She also inspired, taught, and mentored thousands of students and faculty within and outside the school.

    For more than 35 years, Adrienne was a senior statistician on the Framingham Heart Study and coprincipal investigator on the landmark study from 2014–2016. She developed new methods for analysis of longitudinal, correlated, and clustered data and techniques to identify risk factors for cardiovascular and other diseases. Adrienne led the effort to identify genetic risk factors for disease in the Framingham Heart Study, and her collaborations expanded to large, international consortia where she regularly led efforts to move this work forward. In addition to her expertise in statistical genetics, Adrienne was an expert in survival analysis and developed new methods to analyze survival data, particularly with the complexities observed in the Framingham Heart Study. She published more than 650 peer-reviewed papers in her career and moved the field forward in countless areas.

    Adrienne was deeply committed to teaching. She cofounded the PhD program in biostatistics at Boston University in 1989, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. Many alumni returned to campus for the celebratory event with nothing but heartfelt gratitude and deep respect for her. She developed and taught many courses at BU SPH over the years and was repeatedly recognized for her excellence in teaching. Adrienne always set high expectations, no higher than she would set for herself, and she inspired her students to go above and beyond, which they often did.

    In recognition of her many accomplishments, BU SPH established the L. Adrienne Cupples Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research, and Service in Biostatistics in 2012. Award winners include other giants in the field. Each year, winners have been invited to BU SPH to be recognized and Adrienne would humbly greet them and present the award.

    Those of us fortunate enough to work with Adrienne greatly admired her kindness, compassion, dedication, and sheer brilliance. She ably juggled so many commitments, yet always had time for everyone needing a minute, her advice, or just a friendly word. She was always there for others and will be sorely missed.

    Adrienne loved her family and is survived by her husband, John, of nearly 55 years; two daughters, Amy and Alison; and three grandchildren. She was active in her community and developed deep relationships with her many collaborators across the globe. There are simply no words to express the void we all feel, yet we remain grateful for having had the opportunity to work alongside Adrienne. We will do our very best to continue her legacy.

    In March of 2020, Adrienne was honored during ASA’s Women’s History Month .

    To read her complete memorial, visit Boston University’s website.

    Peter (Tony) Lachenbruch

    Peter (Tony) Lachenbruch

    Peter “Tony” Lachenbruch

    The ASA’s 2008 President, Peter Anthony Lachenbruch, 84, of Corvallis, Oregon, passed away on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

    Tony earned a BA in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1958 and an MS in mathematics from Lehigh University in 1961. He then returned to UCLA and completed his PhD in biostatistics in 1965, after which he joined the faculty of The University of North Carolina, rising to the rank of professor in 1976. From 1976 through 1985, Tony was professor and head of the department of biostatistics in the department of preventive medicine and environmental health at the University of Iowa. He then returned to UCLA as a professor in the department of biostatistics in the school of public health, and he chaired that department during the 1991–1992 academic year.

    At that point, Tony joined the US Food and Drug Administration. While at the FDA, he served as chief of the biostatistics branch of the division of biostatistics and epidemiology branch in the Center for Biologics Research and Review through 1999, and then served as a senior biological research scientist and director of the division of biostatistics in the Center for Biologics Research and Review from 1999 through 2006. In 2006, Tony became a professor in the department of biobehavioral and population sciences at Oregon State University, the university from which Tony now holds the title of professor emeritus.

    During Tony’s long career in biostatistics, his research interests have included statistical epidemiology and discriminant analysis, along with applications in rheumatology, cardiology, and psychiatry. Much of his efforts were devoted to the development of statistical methods for drug research, selecting predictor variables when missing data are present, and regulation of pharmaceuticals. He also worked on applications to rheumatology methods. Tony authored or coauthored more than 200 articles and the book Discriminant Analysis.

    Tony received several important awards and honors. In 1971, he received the American Public Health Association (APHA) Mortimer Spiegelman Award; in 1991, he was named the Lowell J. Reed Lecturer by the APHA Statistics Section; in 1997, he received the FDA Award of Merit; and he received the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Center Director’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2005. Tony was made a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1979, and, in 1983, was elected to membership in the International Statistical Institute. In addition to serving as president of the ASA in 2008, Tony was president of ENAR in 1984 and WNAR in 2010.

    After Tony retired, he remained active professionally and served on the editorial boards for Statistics in Medicine, Statistical Methods in Medical Research, and The Stata Journal.

    To learn more about Lachenbruch’s life, read the Q&A he did for Amstat News in 2015.

    Kooros Mahjoob-Behrooz

    Submitted by Mahmoud Daneshmand and Vijay Nair

      Kooros Mahjoob died on December 15, 2021, at the age of 80. He joined the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987 and was deputy director of the division of biometrics when he retired in 2015. He is survived by his wife, Delia, one sister, and two brothers.

      Kooros was born in Tehran, Iran. His family later moved to Isfahan, where he completed his elementary and high-school education. He joined Tehran University in 1960 after passing their highly competitive entrance exam and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1963 and 1965, both in mathematics.

      He worked for several years as a statistician at the Institute for Economic Research of Tehran University before moving to UC Berkeley for further education. He worked with David Blackwell on his PhD dissertation and graduated in 1981.

      Kooros began his professional career with short stints as visiting faculty at Michigan State University and UC Santa Barbara before joining the University of Georgia as assistant professor. He decided on a change of career in 1987 and moved to the FDA, where he served close to 30 years as a mathematical statistician in the Office of Biostatistics (OB) within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). He started as a statistical reviewer, became a team leader, and eventually became deputy director of the division of biometrics.

      Located within OB, the biometrics division provides statistical expertise and support in evaluating drugs and therapeutic biologics within the cardiovascular, renal, neurological, and psychiatric therapeutic areas. Kooros was an integral member of OB senior leadership and played key roles in determining and implementing overall statistical policy for CDER.

      Kooros enjoyed playing the violin and was a kind, caring, and genuine person. He had a great sense of humor, infectious laughter, and love for people and life in general. He is dearly missed by his family members, as well as friends and former colleagues from academia, government, and industry.

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