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Yale Biostatistician Heping Zhang Delivers Prestigious Neyman Lecture

Yale Public Health Magazine, Yale Public Health: Fall 2022


It is a recognition of excellence beyond myself. It is ... for all of us who dedicate their careers in advancing statistical sciences for a better world.

Heping Zhang

Heping Zhang, the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics at the Yale School of Public Health, delivered the prestigious 2022 Neyman Memorial Lecture—one of the highest honors in statistical societies.

Given every three years, the Neyman Lecture, presented by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), highlights innovative work at the intersection of statistical theory and scientific research.

Named for groundbreaking Polish statistician Jerzy Neyman, a founder of modern statistical inference, the lecture has been given by just over a dozen of the top researchers in the field. The IMS, a leading statistical society, also invited Zhang to contribute an article related to his lecture to its publications.

Zhang, PhD, is a distinguished Yale scientist who has performed pioneering work in a variety of fields, including epidemiology, statistical genetics, child and women’s health, and substance use. He has produced more than 350 research publications that have helped to inform public health practice through innovative developments and applications of statistical methods. He and his students are actively investigating how genetics affects complex human conditions, including neurological development and mortality related to COVID-19.

Additionally, Zhang’s work as the director of the Collab-orative Center for Statistics in Science has led to breakthroughs in evaluating the effectiveness of infertility treatments, including ovulation stimulation, dietary regiments, and technologies related to in vitro fertilization.

In addition to his other roles, Zhang is a professor with Yale’s Child Study Center, and a professor of statistics and data science at Yale. He is also affiliated with Yale’s Institute for Global Health.

Zhang is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He was named the 2008 Myrto Lefkopoulou distinguished lecturer by Harvard School of Public Health and a 2011 IMS Medallion Lecturer. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Statistics and Its Interface and is the past coordinating editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association.

Zhang delivered the Neyman Lecture at the IMS annual meeting in London in June. “This is an extraordinary honor,” he said. “It is a recognition of excellence beyond myself. It is for my students, for my research team, for my colleagues at Yale and collaborators everywhere, and for all of us who dedicate their careers in advancing statistical sciences for a better world.”