October 4th, 2017: Mendelian Randomization

Dear BEMC Community,

We would like to extend an invitation to our upcoming October Berlin Epidemiological Methods Colloquium:

“Mendelian randomization: Lessons from studying vitamin D and kidney function”

—Speaker: Dr. Alexander Teumer (Universitätsmedizin Greifswald)

Date: Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Space is limited, so please register here: https://goo.gl/forms/jucAm4NNGvQO79zC2

Location: Seminar room of the Neurology Clinic, first floor (Alte Nervenklinik) – follow our signs

Bonhoefferweg 3, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin- Campus Mitte, 10117 Berlin

Campus Map:  https://www.charite.de/service/lageplan/plan/map/ccm_bonhoefferweg_3

Description: Observational studies suggest an association between lower levels of vitamin D and impaired kidney function, although the observed effect direction varies. Confounding might at least partly explain such findings. Mendelian randomization can be used in such observational research settings to examine causal effects. During this colloquium, Dr. Teumer will explain this method using an example from his research showing how we assessed whether circulating vitamin D levels are causally associated with renal function, quantified by the estimated glomerular filtration rate and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio.

BEMC calendarhttps://bemcolloquium.wordpress.com/meetings-calendar

Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested.

Hope to see you there!

Insights into quantifying the unmeasurable…


A big thanks to Prof. Rolf Groenwold from Utrecht for his talk on unmeasured confounding. I especially enjoyed the in-depth discussion of pros and cons of popular methods to ‘handle’ this problem.

Methods critically discussed included:

  • Two-stage sampling
  • Cross-over designs
  • Negative controls
  • Instrumental variables
  • Sensitivity analysis

Rolf’s reflection on dealing with multiple sources of bias simultaneously and quantifying the impact of measurement error also got everyone thinking.

Perhaps the highlight was the following quote Rolf shared with us from Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, clearly a scholar in articulating types of unmeasured confounding 😉


   Photo credit: azquotes.com

We hope you will join us again Oct. 4th for our next meeting on Mendelian Randomization. Sign up is already available on our ‘Calendar’ page.

Hope to see you then! -JR