Scientific Programme

Keynote Lectures

Four keynote lectures will be given by speakers chosen by the Austro-Swiss region, the German region and the Polish region of the IBS as well as the ISBS. Please find titles of the talks and short biosketches of the speakers below.

John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc is the C.F. Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention at Stanford University, Professor of Medicine, and of Health Research and Policy, at the School of Medicine; Professor of Statistics (by courtesy) at the School of Humanities and Sciences; co-Director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford; and Director of the PhD program in Epidemiology and Clinical Research.

Ioannidis was born in New York City in 1965 and grew up in Athens, Greece.
Valedictorian (1984) at Athens College; National Award of the Greek Mathematical Society (1984); graduated (top rank of medical school class) from the University of Athens in 1990; also received a doctorate 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 (2012-6); 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 over 400 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]). 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 the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) (2014) and University of Ioannina (2015) and honorary doctorate from Erasmus University Rotterdam (2015).
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 >800 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 68% of papers as single/first/last author. Among the most-cited scientists worldwide according to citation databases for which rankings are available (Web of Science/Highly-Cited Researchers, Scopus, Microsoft Academic Search). Among the 50 most-cited scientists across all 20+ million authors publishing across science according to current citation rate (>2,000 new citations per month per Google Scholar, >1000 new citations per month per Scopus or ISI Web of Knowledge).
Citation indices: h=148, m=6.7 per Google Scholar (h=120 per ISI and Scopus).

He considers himself 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 he loves to be constantly reminded that he knows next to nothing.

The research of Ulrich Dirnagl is focused on stroke, cerebral blood flow regulation, and brain imaging. In preclinical models as well as clinical trials he and his coworkers and collaborators explore mechanisms by which brain ischemia leads to cell death, and develops novel methods to intercept mechanisms of damage in acute brain damage, as well as to foster regeneration and repair of the lesions. He is particulary interested in how the brain protects itself (‘endogenous neuroprotection’), and how the brain interacts with other systems of the body after it has been injured.

Closely linked to his interest in stroke pathophysiology is his interest in the coupling of regional blood flow to neuronal acitivity, the mechanism underlying functional brain imaging with MR and PET. Beyond imaging structure and function of the CNS he and his team are developing, validating and using techniques that allow the non-invasive imaging of brain biochemistry and molecular signaling. To this end they use optical, MR, and nuclear medicine approaches in mouse and man.

To improve the predictiveness of preclinical translational research he is actively promoting the introduction of quality standards for experimental design and reporting, as well as international collaboration in large, phase III-type preclinical trials.

At the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin Ulrich Dirnagl serves as Director of the Department of Experimental Neurology, Chief Executive Director of the Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Clinical program coordinator of the Excellence Cluter NeuroCure and the Berlin partner site of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), as well as Program Director of the International Graduate Program Medical Neuroscience.

Alison has worked as a biometrician for more than 25 years and is currently an Associate Professor within the National Institute for Applied Statistics Research Australia at the University of Wollongong.

Her main interest is the use of linear mixed models for the analysis of data from plant breeding and crop improvement programs. Her early work focussed on the analysis of genotype by environment interaction and the methods she developed are now used in all major plant breeding programs in Australia. Alison has also extensively researched improved methods of experimental design and analysis for plant quality traits that require multi-phase testing. Most recently her interests have extended to include genomic selection and identification of quantitative trait loci.

Alison has published over 45 refereed journal articles and has presented her research at a number of national and international statistical and scientific conferences. She has active links with industry, including most private and public plant breeding programs in Australia.

Stijn Vansteelandt graduated as Master in Mathematics at Ghent University in 1998, and obtained a PhD in Mathematics (Statistics) in 2002 at the same university. He is Full Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics at Ghent University. He is furthermore Honorary Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Stijn Vansteelandt is a leading expert in causal inference. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in international journals on a variety of topics in biostatistics, epidemiology and medicine, such as the analysis of longitudinal and clustered data, missing data, mediation and moderation/interaction, instrumental variables, etc. He is Co-Editor of Biometrics.