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June 2011

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Kissling to be honored by American Statistical Association

By Eddy Ball
June 2011

Grace Kissling, Ph.D.

During her induction at the awards ceremony, Kissling will be presented with a marble Fellows paperweight. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS/NTP Staff Scientist Grace Kissling, Ph.D., will join a handful of her colleagues when she is officially inducted as a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) Aug. 2 at a Joint Statistical Meetings awards ceremony in Miami Beach, Fla. Kissling will receive the highest honor in her field for what the ASA described as "outstanding contributions to the statistical profession."

Kissling is a member of the NIEHS Biostatistics Branch (BB) headed by Chief Clare Weinberg, Ph.D.( Working with scientists across the Institute, Kissling provides statistical advice and assistance for the toxicology and carcinogenicity studies carried out by the NTP and experimental studies carried out by NIEHS researchers. She collaborates on research at all stages - study design, statistical analysis, and interpretation - and has co-authored more than 125 peer-reviewed studies.

Weinberg, who nominated Kissling and has been an ASA Fellow herself since 1995, described election to the ASA Fellows as "an extremely high honor - one achieved by only a tiny fraction of statisticians in their lifetime of work." Commenting on Kissling's work, Weinberg added, "As the person tasked with maintaining the statistical integrity of studies related to the National Toxicology Program, Grace has displayed an outstanding level of creative productivity. It's gratifying to see our 'unsung hero' get this well-deserved recognition!"

According to ASA rules, no more than one-third of one percent of the ASA membership may be elected each year to become new ASA Fellows. Fewer than 3,000 members have been so honored since the society began electing fellows in 1914. In addition to Kissling and Weinberg, NIEHS BB Principal Investigator Shyamal Peddada, Ph.D., who was elected in 2005, and BB Staff Scientist David Umbach, Ph.D.(, named in 2009, are also ASA Fellows.

ASA, which was founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest, continuously operating professional society in the United States. The organization serves statisticians, quantitative scientists, and users of statistics across a wealth of academic areas and applications. With an international membership of 16,000, ASA applies its expertise to many diverse tasks - from assessing environmental risk factors and assuring quality measures in industry, to examining social issues and establishing statistical standards used at all government levels.


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