In Memoriam: James H. Ware

Photo: Kent Dayton / Harvard Chan
Photo: Kent Dayton / Harvard Chan

James H. Ware, the Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics and associate dean for clinical and translational science, passed away April 26 after a long battle with cancer.

Ware was a deeply respected and admired member of the Harvard Chan School community for nearly 40 years. Colleagues described him as a brilliant statistician, a committed mentor to students, and a truly caring person whose words “always came with a smile.” As acting dean between Deans Harvey V. Fineberg and Barry R. Bloom, Ware played a significant role in shaping the School’s academic and research vision—a legacy upon which the School of today is built.

Ware joined the faculty in 1979 after receiving his PhD in statistics from Stanford University and spending eight years as a mathematical statistician at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He was dean for academic affairs at the School from 1990 to 2009, including serving as acting dean of the faculty from 1997 to 1998. Ware taught clinical trials research methods for many years at the School and was involved in the development of master’s degree programs in epidemiology and biostatistics with international partners in Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.

Ware had a long-standing interest in studies of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. From 1980 to 1995, he was a co-investigator in the landmark Six Cities Study of Air Pollution and Health, which had a profound effect on Clean Air Act of 1970 regulations in the U.S. and on efforts to limit air pollution around the world.

Ware was internationally recognized for his publications on the design and analysis of longitudinal and multilevel physiological, clinical, and biological studies and on methodological issues in clinical trials research. He was senior statistician for randomized trials of strategies for protecting the brain during surgical repair of transposition of the great arteries in infants, chelation therapy for lead-exposed children, and, more recently, research examining vitamin D supplementation to prevent development of diabetes and the role of sleep apnea in diabetes.