The Texas A&M University Department of Statistics is teaming up with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) next spring to celebrate one of Texas A&M's most pioneering professors, Dr. Raymond J. Carroll, with a daylong conference in honor of his 60th birthday and his many contributions to statistical teaching, research and service.

Dr. Mitchell Gail (National Cancer Institute) and Dr. Peter Hall (University of Melbourne) will serve as keynote speakers for Statistical Methods for Complex Data, scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2009, on the Texas A&M campus.

The conference, which is open to the public, will feature presentations by internationally recognized researchers engaged in statistical methods for complex data in a variety of fields -- many revolutionized by Carroll and his worldwide legion of protégés. Topics will be grouped into three sessions: nonparametric and semiparametric regression; measurement error and inverse problems; and statistical methods in biology, genetics and population science.

In addition to providing an overview of historical developments and current status for each field, the conference will serve as a discussion platform for emerging issues and future research directions.

Carroll, a distinguished professor of statistics, nutrition and toxicology and member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1987, is highly regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on problems of measurement error, functional data analysis, semiparametric methods and more generally on statistical regression modeling. His work, characterized by a combination of deep theoretical effort, innovative methodological development and close contact with science, has impacted a broad variety of fields, including marine biology, laboratory assay methods, econometrics, epidemiology and molecular biology.

"Dr. Carroll is an innovative research scientist and an inspirational teacher," said Dr. Simon J. Sheather, professor and head of the Department of Statistics. "He has graduated 30 Ph.D. students, many of them leading figures in academia and industry. He has also been the mentor to many of our faculty, including those who are now full professors, and is legendary for his willingness to give advice and technical assistance."

In 2005 Carroll became the first statistician ever to receive the prestigious NCI Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award for his pioneering efforts in nutritional epidemiology and biology and the resulting advances in human health. Less than five percent of all National Institutes of Health-funded investigators merit selection for the highly selective award, which includes up to 10 years of grant support.

Since 2001 Carroll has served as founder and director of Texas A&M's $5.6 million, NCI-funded Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and Nutrition Training Program housed in the Department of Statistics. The unique post-doctoral program -- the nation's only one in biostatistics -- seeks to build bridges between life sciences (biology and genetics) and computational sciences (statistics) to better train future statisticians to function as independent researchers as they continue to explore links between nutrition and cancer. In addition to earning acclaim as a novel way to train the next generation of statistical scientists, the program has helped to shape and refine a new genre of interdisciplinary research: bioinformatics.

Registration is required for the conference, which is conveniently scheduled just prior to the 2009 International Biometric Society (ENAR) meeting, slated for March 15-18 in San Antonio. For more information on the conference, including the scientific program, a complete list of presenters, and available hotels, visit http://www.stat.tamu.edu/carroll-conference-2009/.

For scientific questions, contact Xihong Lin, program committee chair, at xlin@hsph.harvard.edu.

For logistical issues, please contact Joyce Sutherland, conference coordinator, at (979) 845-5528 or joyce@stat.tamu.edu.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Raymond J. Carroll

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