April 30, 2009, Research Triangle Park, NC - The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS), a research
institute created by the national statistical sciences community, has appointed six new postdoctoral fellows. The
fellows will participate in several new research programs at NISS.
"Our research has expanded into several additional areas this year. We are happy to be able to hire some
of the best and brightest people coming out of the university system," commented Alan Karr, director of NISS.
Three of the fellows will work on a research program at NISS for the National Agricultural Statistical
Service (NASS): Patricia Gunning (Ph.D. in Statistics from Dublin City University), Michael Robbins (Ph.D.
in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University) and Jianqiang Wang (Ph.D. in Statistics from Iowa State
University). They will be in residence two consecutive summers at NISS in Research Triangle Park, NC, and
will spend the academic years at NASS in Washington, DC.
Xiangdong Feng (Ph.D. in Statistics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Xia Wang
(Ph.D. in Statistics from University of Connecticut) will join the Clinical Proteomic Technology Assessment for
Cancer (CPTAC), a program funded by the National Cancer Institute. NISS is providing statistical expertise and
guidance on this project, and over the next two and a half years will develop specific statistical methodology for
proteomics research. NISS collaborates with the five CPTAC Research Centers to analyze the combined data
from their studies in order to maximize the information gained from these large research efforts in proteomics.
Jian Zou (Ph.D. in Statistics from University of Connecticut) will become part of a multi-institution
research project led by NISS on biosurveillance. He will help first to address fundamental issues of statistical
theory and methodology, and then to solve implementation issues of algorithms and computational efficiency.
The goal of this project is to enable rapid detection of disease spread by monitoring readily available
information. The principal product of the research is a clear statement of the probability that a particular disease
is present somewhere in the US, or present in a particular city, together with the associated level of uncertainty.
According to Karr, who leads this project, "The emerging swine flu pandemic illustrates perfectly the need for
The National Institute of Statistical Sciences was established in 1990 by the national statistics societies and the Research Triangle universities and organizations, with the mission to identify, catalyze and foster high-impact, cross-disciplinary and cross-sector research involving the statistical sciences. NISS is dedicated to strengthening and serving the national statistics community, most notably by catalyzing community members' participation in applied research driven by challenges facing government and industry. NISS also provides career development opportunities for statisticians and scientists, especially those in the formative stages of their careers. NISS is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
For more information about the NISS, go to www.niss.org.
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