University of Minnesota

Paul Meier, PhD

1924 — 2011

Paul Meier was a central figure in the origins of well-designed U.S. clinical trials, the strongest advocate and methodologist for consistent, effective randomization in trials of adequate size. He was critical of unblinded randomized trials. Thus, he was a strong influence on the U.S. generation of preventive trials in CVD as well as on FDA policy.

Meier was educated at Oberlin and Princeton, with his doctorate in statistics from Princeton in 1951, and, after a few years at Johns Hopkins spent most of his professional life at the University of Chicago where he headed the department of statistics. His most direct legacy is the Kaplan-Meier Curve, the now-standard formula for estimating survival at any point in following a cohort. (HB)