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John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc, Stanford University – MIDAS/MIP/DCMB Seminar

April 18, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Kahn Auditorium, Biomedical Science Research Building

John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc

Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy, of Biomedical Data Science, and of Statistics

Stanford University


The power of bias and what to do about it


Abstract: Bias includes all distortions of evidence. Multiple biases can affect scientific studies and different biases may be more prevalent in specific disciplines. We have mapped at least 235 biases in the biomedical literature. The lecture will present evidence about the prevalence and magnitude of biases across different fields of investigation. It will also discuss potential solutions that can be used to prevent or minimize the impact of these biases.


Bio:C.F. Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention at Stanford University, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Health Research and Policy, Professor (by courtesy) of Biomedical Data Science, Professor (by courtesy) of Statistics; co-Director, Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford; Director of the PhD program in Epidemiology and Clinical Research.

Born in New York City in 1965 and raised in Athens, Greece. Valedictorian (1984) at Athens College; National Award of the Greek Mathematical Society (1984); MD (top rank of medical school class) from the National University of Athens in 1990; also received DSc in biopathology from the same institution. Trained at Harvard and Tufts (internal medicine and infectious diseases), then held positions at NIH, Johns Hopkins and Tufts. Chaired the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina Medical School in 1999-2010 (tenured professor since 2003). Adjunct faculty for Tufts University since 1996 (professor rank since 2002), Director (2008-2010) of the Center for Genetic Epidemiology and Modeling; also adjunct professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and visiting professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Imperial College. Member of the executive board of the Human Genome Epidemiology Network and Senior Advisor on Knowledge Integration at NCI/NIH (2012-2016). Served as President, Society for Research Synthesis Methodology, and editorial board member of many leading journals (including PLoS Medicine, Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, JNCI, Science Translational Medicine, Clinical Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, AIDS, IJE, JCE, Clinical Trials, and PLoS ONE, among others) and as Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation (2010-now). Delivered ~500 invited and honorary lectures. Recipient of many awards (e.g. European Award for Excellence in Clinical Science [2007], Medal for Distinguished Service, Teachers College, Columbia University [2015], Chanchlani Global Health Award [2017]). Inducted in the Association of American Physicians (2009), European Academy of Cancer Sciences (2010) American Epidemiological Society (2015), and European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2015). Honorary titles from FORTH (2014) and Ioannina (2015) and honorary doctorates from Rotterdam (2015) and Athens (2017). Multiple honorary lectureships (Caltech, Oxford, LSHTM, Yale, U Utah, UConn among others). The PLoS Medicine paper on “Why most published research findings are false” has been the most-accessed article in the history of Public Library of Science (>2 million hits). Author of 6 literary books in Greek, two of which (“Toccata for the Girl with the Burnt Face” (Kedros 2012) and “Variations on the Art of the Fugue and a Desperate Ricercar” (Kedros 2014)) were shortlisted for best book of the year Anagnostis awards. Brave Thinker scientist for 2010 according to Atlantic, “may be one of the most influential scientists alive”. Author of ~1000 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 68% of papers as single/first/last author. Highly Cited Researcher according to Thomson Reuters in both Clinical Medicine and in Social Sciences. Citation indices: h=157, m=7 per Google Scholar (h=131 per ISI and Scopus). Current citation rates: >2,500 new citations per month per Google Scholar, >1,300 new citations per month per Scopus or Web of Knowledge.

“Current citation rates suggest that I am among the 20 scientists worldwide who are currently the most commonly cited, perhaps also the currently most-cited physician. This probably only proves that citation metrics are highly unreliable, since I estimate that I have been rejected over 1,000 times in my life. Regardless, I consider myself privileged to have learned and to continue to learn from interactions with students and young scientists (of all ages) from all over the world and I love to be constantly reminded that I know next to nothing.” – John Ioannidis


Reception to follow


This seminar is sponsored by:

The Michigan Institute for Data Science

The Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology

The Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics



For more information on MIDAS or the Seminar Series, please contact midas-contact@umich.edu. MIDAS gratefully acknowledges Northrop Grumman Corporation for its generous support of the MIDAS Seminar Series.


April 18, 2018
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Kahn Auditorium, Biomedical Science Research Building
109 Zina Pitcher Pl.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 United States
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