University of Minnesota

Marcus Kjelsberg, PhD

1932 — 2007

Marcus Kjelsberg was a pioneer in CVD Epidemiology from his work with the Tecumseh Community Study at the University of Michigan in the 1960s. In the early 1970s he successfully competed for the Coordinating Center of the Multiple Risk Factor Trial, which began the development of a strong center in Minnesota for multicenter studies and trials that exists today, the Coordinating Center for Biometric Research (CCBR).

He was a central analyst in collaboration with the investigators of the Tecumseh Community Study where he studied a wide range of risk factors, particularly smoking and respiratory disease, and in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial where data from the huge numbers of screenees resolved many questions about the continuous relationship of variables to disease outcomes.

From 1972 to 1987 he directed the Division of Biostatistics at the University of Minnesota. Kjelsberg retired in 1997 and remained as advisor to the journal Controlled Clinical Trials, edited by James Neaton.

His mark on the University of Minnesota School of Public Health was as an effective administrator. The school’s dean, John Finnegan, described him aptly as “the consummate gentleman, gracious well beyond the call of duty, universally well respected, and a thoughtful, even-handed administrator.” (HB)


Henry Blackburn