Profile of John Ioannidis

He is an important thinker and here is one part of the profile:

Ioannidis’s current work stems from his deep love of math and statistics. He was born in New York City to physician parents but raised in Athens, Greece, where he excelled at math from a young age. He attended the University of Athens Medical School, added a PhD in biopathology, and later trained at Harvard and Tufts and joined the National Institutes of Health, where he worked on pivotal HIV research. These days, although he often collaborates on the design of specific studies, what he mostly does is meta-research, or the study of studies. Using powerful number-crunching programs and constantly evolving algorithms, Ioannidis analyzes many trials, each with many patients. He’s working to see not so much whether one treatment works or does not work, or whether one association of a specific risk factor with one disease is true or false, but whether factors related to the research process—the number of patients tested, the criteria for including data, statistical errors in an analysis, even fraud or financial incentives—may have compromised the data and conclusions. He burst on the medical establishment radar in 2005 with a paper in PLoS Medicine asserting nothing less than: “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.”

Here is Alex’s earlier post on him.  For the pointer I thank Mark D.


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