Honorary Members

Honorary ISCB Members 2016: Lutz Edler, Harbajan Chadha-Boreham, Michael Schemper

 David W. Warne, the ISCB President, gave the following speeches at the Dinner at ISCB37 in Birmingham.

Lutz Edler - Honorary ISCB Member 2016

Lutz Edler attended ISCB1 in Brussels in May 1979 only 5 months after starting work at DKFZ, and from then on, he has missed only a few conferences, e.g. when they coincided with the COMPSTAT conference of IASC (ISI). He was member of the SPC of the ISCB17, Budapest, organised sessions on ‘Preclinical Models’ at ISCB20-GMDS-99 in Heidelberg and on ‘Pharmaco-genomics’ at the ISCB26 in Szeged, Hungary. 

In close cooperation with late ISCB President, Norbert Victor, he co-organised the big joint ISCB20-GMDS-99 Congress in Sep1999 in Heidelberg, with more than 1000 participants, the first time when the ISCB membership passed the level of 800, including 186 members from Germany. Seven years later, he was Chair of the SPC for the ISCB27 in Geneva, editing with David Warne one of the last paper versions of the ISCB Abstract Book and afterwards, he served ISCB as Guest Editor of the Special Issue of Statistics in Medicine.

He served as Secretary of the Conf SC from 2011-2013 and worked jointly with David Warne on a thorough revision of the COSC Guidelines for organising ISCB conferences in 2013. In addition, he was for several years a member of the SiRA SC. From 2009-12, he was a member of the ISCB ExCom.

After studying mathematics at the University of Freiburg and basic research on statistics and mathematical modelling, with a PhD thesis on branching processes at the University of Mainz, in 1979, Lutz joined the Department of Biostatistics of the German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ, in Heidelberg. This meant working across all aspects of biostatistics, ranging from pre-clinical studies to large scale clinical trials, from experimental design to interpretation of study outcomes on efficacy and safety, and from methods for computational data analysis to mathematical-statistical modelling.

Currently, 6 years after his ‘retirement’, he is still engaged in biostatistics for clinical research. Most time he devotes to the EFSA (European Authority of Food Safety) and methodology for human health risk assessment for the regulations of the European Commission.

He has (co-)authored over 400 scientific papers and has co-edited books on statistical methods in risk assessment and 2 special issues on Computational Statistics within Clinical Research in the CSDA journal, with colleagues from ISCB. He served as Associate Editor of biostatistical journals including Statistics in Medicine. He was Editor of the Biometrical Journal 2012-15 and was involved with the publication of ISCB conference papers, 2015+ in the Biometrical Journal.

Michael Schemper - Honorary ISCB Member 2016

Michael Schemper joined ISCB at the 1982 conference in Rotterdam (ISCB3) and has actively participated in most of next 34 conferences, as speaker, invited session organiser, member of SPCs, twice as Chair of the SPC (1996 Budapest ISCB17 and 2005 Szeged ISCB26), and as Chair of the LOC (2014 Vienna ISCB35).

He was ExCom member 1996-2000, founded the NatG SC in 1996 and was Chair until 2005; he was also an early member of Educ SC (drafted Terms of Reference for both SCs), member of the Conf SC from 2010, and finally he was proposer of CADC and member 2014-2015.

Michael studied Statistics at the University of Vienna, Austria, and earned a PhD in 1977 prior to his engagement as Clinical Biostatistician at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna. He achieved a Habilitation in Medical Statistics in 1985 and from this time on, he has supervised numerous Master’s and PhD theses in Biostatistics.

He spent the academic year 1987/88 as Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Biomathematics (MDACC) of the University of Texas in Houston, USA. In 1991 MS became Professor of Clinical Biostatistics at the University of Vienna, where he founded and headed a Section for Clinical Biometrics, now part of a Center for Medical Statistics and Informatics of the Medical University of Vienna. This section recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Michael’s early scientific interest and research was in nonparametric methods, later in survival analysis, regression modelling problems, and in quantifying explained variation in regression. He has (co-)authored well over 200 papers, partly in medical and partly in biostatistical journals, among them 13 in Statistics in Medicine. Some of the papers have been cited several hundred times.

MS frequently reviewed for Statistics in Medicine and other journals of biostatistics and also was Associate Editor of Statistics in Medicine 2006 – 2013. The statistical methods developed in 3 of his papers (on explained variation in Cox regression, and, avoidance of monotone likelihood in Cox and in logistic regression) have been implemented by SAS as options in 2 of their statistical procedures.

Harbajan Chadha-Boreham - Honorary ISCB Member 2016

Harbajan Chadha-Boreham joined ISCB in 1993 and attended her first conference in Cambridge (UK), ISCB14. She has been loyal to ISCB since then and has attended 22/24 conferences. She has given contributed and poster presentations at conferences in diverse fields, e.g. Minimisation for treatment allocation; Dose-response relationships; Sample-size estimation; Reporting of risk-prediction models; Growth-curves in paediatric populations, etc. Also, she has frequently chaired sessions at ISCB conferences. 

She was an ExCom Member: 2001-2004, ISCB Secretary from 2005-2008, Vice-President, President, Past-President from 2009-2013. She was the LOC Chair 2002 Dijon, ISCB23.

Harbajan has contributed to 4 ISCB SCs: SiRA SC Member and Chair: 2000-, 2014-; Conf SC Chair/Secretary: Conceived the idea of the SC and was its Chair from 2003-2013, and was lead author of COSC Guidelines 2003-2011. These Guidelines laid sound foundations for the long-term growth and success of ISCB by changing the way in which the ISCB conferences are organised.

She was a member of the Membership SC, from its creation (2005) to dissolution (2011) and member of the Epid SC: Conceived the idea of the SC and was its founding member in 2009, and was a founding member of the STRATOS Initiative 2012-.

Harbajan received her PhD from De Montfort University, UK, on the topic of ‘Mathematical and Probabilistic Models for the Growth of Bacterial Populations’ in 1982.

She taught in Academia for some years and has worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry (UK, France and Switzerland), where she gained more than 25 years biostatistics experience. She has been involved in both clinical trials and observational studies encompassing many statistical methodologies in over 20 therapeutic areas, which are published in a variety of journals. She has mentored many young researchers during her career and collaborated with internationally renowned clinicians, including membership of Steering Committees and DSMBs.

Currently she is Director of ‘Clinical Biostatistics Consultancy’ near Dijon, France, and her research interests include risk prediction models in prognostic and diagnostic medicine.

Martin Schumacher - Honorary ISCB Member 2015

David W. Warne, the ISCB President, gave the following speech at the Dinner at ISCB36 in Utrecht.

Martin is a long-time ISCB member, served as member of the Executive Committee (2005-2008) and several subcommittees (e.g. Statistics in Regulatory Affairs).

He studied mathematics and statistics and did his doctoral research at Dortmund University (Germany) and his “habilitation” at Heidelberg University (Germany). He has been a full professor since 1983, first in mathematical statistics at Dortmund University and since 1986, Professor for Medical Biometry and Statistics and Director of the Institute for Medical Biometry and Statistics at the Freiburg University (Germany).Martin has (co-)authored over 250 scientific papers, including about 32 in Statistics in Medicine. He has authored several books and book chapters on statistical methodology, among which “Competing risks and multistate models in R” (Springer, 2012).Martin has organised several statistical conferences, served as Editor of the Biometrical Journal from 2004–2008, and as member of editorial boards (e.g. Statistics in Medicine).In 2012, Martin presented the 21st Bradford Hill Memorial Lecture for the Medical Section of the RSS at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, entitled “Hospital-acquired infections – appropriate statistical treatment is urgently needed!” He is currently coordinator of the European Marie Curie training network MEDIASRES with 14 PhD students and corresponding supervisors, many of them also regularly attending ISCB conferences.

Indeed, Martin has trained and tutored many MSc and PhD students who have regularly presented their work at ISCB conferences, and he has co-authored at least 13 papers in special ISCB conference issues of Statistics in Medicine.

Emmanuel Lesaffre - Honorary ISCB Member 2013

Koos Zwindermann, the ISCB President, gave the following speech at the Dinner at ISCB34 in Munich.

Emmanuel Lesaffre is currently Professor of Biostatistics and Head of the Biostatistics Department at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). In addition, he is Professor of Biostatistics at Leuven University (Belgium) and is also attached to Hasselt University (Belgium). Emmanuel Lesaffre studied mathematics at Antwerp University (Belgium) and wrote a PhD thesis on logistic discriminant analysis. He has (co-)authored over 300 scientific papers focusing on development of new biostatistical tools and rigorous application of these tools to medical applications, he (co-)authored over thirty papers in Statistics in Medicine. He authored several books on statistical methods, most recently a book on Bayesian Biostatistics (Wiley, 2012). He has trained and tutored many students both at MSc and PhD levels and many of them have presented their work at ISCB conferences. In recognition of his work, Emmanuel Lesaffre has held several editorships both from statistical journals (Biometrics & Statistical Modeling) and from medical journals and participated as Organiser to several statistical conferences. Emmanuel Lesaffre has been a long time member of the ISCB and contributed tremendously to the Society. He was Secretary and (Vice-)President from 2001-2008, he served as member of the Executive Committee from 1999-2009, and he was a member of several ISCB subcommittees (Membership, Conference Organising, Education, Student Conference Awards) and initiated the subcommittee stimulating application of biostatistical methods in Dentistry research. Finally, Emmanuel Lesaffre was chair of the Scientific Programme Committee of the ISCB conference in Montpellier (2010).

Hans van Houwelingen - Honorary ISCB Member 2011

Harbajan Chadha-Boreham, the ISCB President, gave the following speech at the Dinner at ISCB32 in Ottawa.

In recent years, we have taken up an opportunity allowed by the ISCB constitution (Article 4.03) for Honorary Memberships and have conferred four Honorary Memberships so far.

The next ISCB member to receive the honour, Hans Van Houwelingen is a “distinguished biostatistician and has given service of exceptional value and duration to ISCB,” as required by the constitution:

• In 1976 Hans obtained a PhD on Empirical Bayes Methods from University of Utrecht, the Netherlands and moved to University of Leiden as full Professor of Biostatistics and stayed there until now. Although in retirement since 2007, he has remained very active and we see him every year at the ISCB conference.

• Hans’ contributions to Biostatistics are well-recognised and the Biometrical Journal 52 (2010) is dedicated to his “40 years in Biostatistics” where it states, “He is considered to be the father of biostatistics in the Netherlands and to put Dutch biostatistics on the map, both nationally and internationally.”

• At the ISCB Maastricht in 1989, Hans gave a lecture on “predictive value of models” and “shrinkage and validation of prognostic models” and the related paper, which appears in Statistics in Medicine, brought him international recognition. It is one of the most cited papers. Therefore, we can see why the ISCB has a special meaning in Hans’ life and career.

• Hans has prolific publications of very high standard in many research areas, including Bayes methods, prognostic models, meta-analysis, survival analysis, genetics and bioinformatics in genomics. His interest lies in applications of the methods not only in medicine but also in agriculture. He has one of the longest lists of publications (11) of ISCB conference papers in Statistics in Medicine.

• Hans has been a regular contributor to the ISCB in significant ways for well over 20 years:

a. Member of the Executive Committee: 1993 – 1996 for two terms

b. ISCB Scientific Programme Committee Member (3 times): Stockholm (2001); Leiden (2004) & Alexandroupolis (2007)

c. Chair of Local Organising Committee, Leiden (2004)

d. Mini-symposium: Genomics based diagnosis and prognosis, Szeged (2005)

e. Pre-conference course: Assessment of predictive performance by cross-validation (in collaboration with Martin Schumacher), Geneva (2006)

f. Invited session papers (2 times): Data analysis when the number of predictors (p) greatly exceeds the number of cases (n), Leiden (2004) and Surrogate markers in clinical trials, Alexandroupolis (2007)

The proposal to confer the Honorary Membership on Hans van Houwelingen was accepted unanimously at the ExCom meeting and subsequently at the AGM.

The Honorary Membership plaque was presented to Hans in Ottawa by Koos Zwinderman, the ISCB Vice-President.

Stephen Senn and John Whitehead - Honorary ISCB Members 2009

Norbert Victor, the ISCB President, gave the following speeches at the Dinner at ISCB30 in Prague.

Stephen Senn is one of the most faithful ISCB members: He attends here his 25th annual meeting, has given many very exciting lectures (among them the keynote lecture in 2003), he contributed 10 papers to the congress issues of Statistics in Medicine, and he has taught several preconference courses, as well as courses in target countries. Stephen became an ordinary ExCom member in 1991 and served as Secretary from 1992 to 1995. He also served the Society in many other functions: He was member of several Scientific Programme Committees (SPCs, once, Dijon 2003, acting as Chair), editor of the Dijon congress issue of Statistics in Medicine, LOC member for ISCB15 in Basle, and Secretary of the SC “Statistics in Regulatory Affairs”. As Stephen is accepted worldwide – both in academia and the pharmaceutical industry – as an outstanding biostatistician, there is no need to enumerate his scientific merits here.


John Whitehead’s list of merits and services to ISCB is as long as that of Stephen; he is without any doubt one of the most loyal members since the society was established: John attended the first ISCB meeting 1979 in Brussels and most of our meetings after that, he presented a large number of papers, he taught several ISCB courses and he contributed the highest number (12) of articles to our congress issues of Statistics in Medicine. Apart from our first two Honorary Members, John has been the ExCom Member with the longest period of service; this period of twelve years includes four years as Treasurer, two years as President and three years as Vice-/Past-President. John also served the Society in many other functions, e.g. as member of several subcommittees, chair of the Student Conference Awards committee, member of SPCs and member of the LOC in 2003. John’s reputation as outstanding scientist is undisputed. Therefore, I would like to mention only two of his prominent merits: his role as driving force and teacher in the Biostatistics Master programme in Reading, and his widely used monograph on sequential trials.

David W Warne and Jørgen Seldrup - Honorary ISCB Members 2007

Emmanuel Lesaffre, the ISCB President, gave the following speeches at the Dinner at ISCB28 in Alexandroupolis:

 David Warne is a longstanding and very faithful ISCB member. He has been the editor of the Newsletter Editor since 1992-3 and served eight Presidents (Claude Chastang, Jorgen Seldrup, Marc Buyse, Karsten Schmidt, Simon Day, Grazia Valsecchi, John Whitehead, Emmanuel Lesaffre). This is a quite demanding task requiring a lot of secretarial but also communication skills. It has been repeatedly confirmed that The Newsletter constitutes an important link for the ISCB members. In his role as Chair of Communications he has also explored various other possibilities to improve the communications among ISCB members. For instance, he installed the ISCB emailing system thereby creating various dedicated email groups. He also contributed to the development of the ISCB Website. Further, he is the chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and is a member of the Subcommittee on Conference Organising. Finally, he organized recently one of the most, if not the most, successful ISCB meetings in Geneva. Not only the scientific and social programs were excellent, he also realized a substantial financial profit for the Society. For all of these reasons, the Officers recommend David to receive the status of honorary membership of our Society.

Jorgen Seldrup was the Newsletter Editor in 1985 & 1986 and in 1990 & 1991, Scientific Secretary from 1987 to 1990, Vice-President in 1991 & 1992, President in 1993 & 1994 and Past-President from 1994 to 1996. In total, he served the Society in the Executive Committee for a much longer period (1984 to 2000). Jorgen has been one of the most loyal ISCB members since The Society has been established in 1979. He has been member of various ISCB subcommittees but is especially known for chairing the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs for many years, where the main task is the preparation and submission of comments on the draft regulatory guidelines. Further, he has served in various nominations  committees. He is on the Scientific Committee of the meeting in Alexandroupolis where he is also the organizer of an invited session on “vaccines”. For all of these reasons, the Officers recommend Jorgen to receive the status of honorary membership of our Society.

(Last edited: 2017-06-14)