On September 23, 2003 Marvin Zelen was awarded the title of Docteur Honoris Causa de l'Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France. Professor Zelen was the third biostatistician to receive this title after David Cox (1999) and Norman Breslow (2001). To mark the occasion and the importance of the contribution of Professor Zelen in development of biostatistics in public health and especially in the War on Cancer, a special symposium, Probabilités, Statistics and Modelling in Public Health, was organized in Marvin's honor by Daniel Commenges and Mikhail Nikulin. This workshop took place on September 22-23, 2003, in Bordeaux. Several well known biostatisticians from Europe and America were invited. A special issue of Lifetime Data Analysis was published (Volume 10, No 4), gathering some of the works discussed at this symposium. This volume gathers a larger number of papers, some of them being extended versions of papers published in the Lifetime Data Analysis issue, others being new. We present below several details of the biography of Professor Zelen.
Marvin Zelen is Professor of Statistics at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. He is one of the major researchers in the field of statistical methods in public health.
Since 1960, Professor Zelen constantly worked in several fields of applied statistics, specifically in biology and epidemiology of cancer. He is very well known for his work on clinical trials in oncology, on survival analysis, reliability and planning of experiments and prevention. His papers have now become classics among epidemiologists and biostatisticians who work in the field of cancer.
Since 1967, Professor Zelen was involved in different scientific groups such as the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, the Veteran's Administration Lung Cancer Group, the Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group, and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group to do statistical research in cancer clinical trials in the USA. Professor Zelen made also significant contributions to reliability theory and random processes, mainly Markov and semi-Markov pro cesses, in biostatistics and epidemiology. Professor Zelen is famous all over the world for the development of the Biostatistics Department in the Harvard School of Public Health. He received several awards for his contributions to statistical methodology in the biomedical field. Among them, in 1967, the Annual Award, Washington Academy of Science, for Distinguished Work in Mathematics, in 1992, the Statistician of the Year award of Boston Chapter of the American Statistical Association, and, in 1996, the Morse Award for Cancer Research.
We thank all participants of the workshop in Bordeaux and all colleagues and friends of Marvin for supporting us in the organization of the meeting in Bordeaux and for their contributions in preparation of this volume. Especially we thank Thelma Zelen, Mei-Ling Ting Lee, Stephen Lagakos, Dave Harrington, Bernard Begaud, Roger Salamon, Valia Nikouline, Elizabeth Cure and the participants of the European Seminar Mathematical Methods for Reliability, Survival Analysis and Quality of Life for their help in organization of the meeting and preparation of the proceedings. We thank also l'IFR-99 "Santé Publique" for financial support of our project.
We sincerely hope that this volume will serve as a valuable reference for statisticians.
Mikhail Nikulin, Daniel Commenges and Catherine Huber, editors
March, 2005, Bordeaux
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