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August 12, 2008

Scott Zeger Named 2008 Wilks Memorial Award Recipient


Scott Zeger, PhD, Johns Hopkins University Vice Provost and the Frank Hurley and Catharine Dorrier Professor of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was named the 2008 Wilks Memorial Award recipient by the American Statistical Association at the annual Joint Statistical Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Established in 1964 to honor the late Samuel S. Wilks, the award is given to a statistician who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of scientific or technical knowledge, developed an ingenious application of existing knowledge, or successfully fostered cooperative scientific efforts in matters of public interest or national defense.

Nominated by several colleagues, Zeger was recognized for his significant contributions to public health including his work in environmental epidemiology, quantifying the health effects of smoking and air pollution, and co-development, with colleague Kung-Yee Liang, of Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Zeger has also been recognized as one of the most cited mathematical scientists of the past decade.

“Public health requires teamwork to have an impact. I have been very fortunate at Johns Hopkins to be the statistical member of several excellent teams in environmental health sciences, clinical research and international health. My colleagues have been major contributors to the achievements recognized by this award,” said Zeger.

Zeger began his tenure at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in September of 1982.  For the past 12 years, he served as chair of the Department of Biostatistics. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and served as statistical expert for the U.S. Justice Department and several states in their law suits against the tobacco industry. In 2008 Zeger was appointed vice provost for research at Johns Hopkins University. 

Zeger said he takes special pride in winning this award since he was a student of John Tukey, Wilks’s protégé and the award’s first recipient.

Public Affairs media contact: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or