In honor of the Department’s 60th anniversary, faculty, students, friends, and alumni gathered in Chapel Hill October 11-15, 2009 to share in a memorable week of scientific presentations, fun, and fellowship. Experts in statistics and biostatistics from around the country were presenters at nine panel discussions of topics including categorical data analysis, randomized trials in clinical research, data analysis using auxiliary and latent variables, innovative clinical trial design, environmental statistics, faculty-student interaction in applied research, emerging applications in high-dimensional data analysis, population statistics, and non- and semi-parametrics. A key theme that emerged in our celebrations and presentations was the invaluable role of the student/mentor relationship at UNC-CH Biostatistics and how many of these relationships stay vibrant and alive, beyond campus walls and well past graduation.
A dinner banquet in honor of the 60th anniversary of the department was held on Oct. 14th featuring Professor Emeritus Jim Grizzle who gave a superb presentation on the department’s history and its impact. A breakfast in honor of Professor Larry Kupper was held on Oct. 14. A highlight of the festivities was a Festschrift held in honor of the work of Professor Gary Koch, UNC-CH biostatistics professor, philanthropist and, along with former faculty member Dr. Dennis Gillings, co-founder of Quintiles Transnational Corp (quintiles.com). Guest editors Drs. John S. Preisser and Anastasia Ivanova (UNC-CH) and William D. Johnson (LSU) oversaw the contribution of 23 proposed scholarly articles which will be published in the American Statistical Association journal, Statistics in Biopharmaceutical Research, in late 2010 or early 2011 in a special volume commemorating Koch’s achievements. The volume also will include a commentary, biography and excerpts from an interview with Koch.