John W. Tukey’s Multiple Contributions to Statistics at Merck

Joseph F. Heyse



Professor Tukey began consulting with Merck, Sharp and Dohme in 1953 at the time of the merger between Merck, a New Jersey based chemical company, and the Philadelphia based  pharmaceutical company Sharp & Dohme.  Prior to the 1953 merger John was a consultant to Merck in the area of manufacturing . He remained a statistical consultant to the biostatistics community at Merck Research Laboratories until his death in 2000.  Throughout those years John made major contributions to the statistical aspects of all major research disciplines.  This includes the statistical methods for safety assessment, clinical trials, laboratory quality control, health economics, clinical adverse experience evaluation, as well as the most current research in gene expression and microarray data.  His work led to the establishment of Merck standards and in many cases industry standards for approaching trend testing and dose selection in dose response studies, multiplicity adjustments for safety assessment, evaluating clinical trial data in the presence of clinic by treatment interaction, and statistical methods for animal carcinogenicity studies.  This talk will summarize John’s work on multiplicity procedures for biopharmaceutical applications and will include personal reminiscences of our consulting sessions.