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Helen Abbey and Margaret Merrell Professorship in Biostatistics Education


HELEN ABBEY, ScD ’51 (1915-2001), taught biostatistics to generations of public health scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health from 1952 until poor health obliged her to retire in 1999. In addition to teaching, she wrote scholarly articles on medical genetics and chronic diseases. In 1971, she was the first recipient of the school’s Golden Apple Award, which students bestow upon the school’s best teachers. She received this award three times. In 1991, on the occasion of the school’s 75th anniversary, Dr. Abbey was named a Hero of Public Health. She died in 2001 and, through her estate, provided one-half of the funding needed to establish this professorship. Hundreds of donors–faculty, alumni, and friends–generously and lovingly made up the difference.


MerrellMargaretMARGARET MERRELL, ScD ‘30 (1925-1959) was an academic leader in the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health for 30 years. Known as one of the finest teachers of biostatistics to health professionals, Dr. Merrell was awarded an honorary degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1981. The citation praised both her teaching and scholarship. She was a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She retired to New Hampshire in 1959, and died in 1995.