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



June 7th, 2017 meeting recap

How does one go about setting up a large cohort study? What is most important to include in the planning phase? How do you cope with problems out of your control (server problems, sample delivery issues, etc.)? How do you successfully collaborate with other centers having different interests? Thanks to Prof. Elke Schäffner, we are all a bit wiser to these questions after hearing her practical examples from the Berlin Initiative Study (BIS). And a big thank you to our members for their continued active participation.

We’re taking a summer break for July and August and look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Weds. September 6th, 4-6pm. We’re excited to welcome Prof. Rolf Groenwold from Utrecht discussing unmeasured confounding in causal research. Keep an eye out for more information from us sometime in August!


June 7th BEMC meeting

Dear Berlin-area epidemiological methods fan, 

You are cordially invited to our upcoming June BEMC meeting; please register soon!

“Lessons from Nephrology: Challenges in primary data collection in large cohort studies” —Speaker: Prof. Elke Schäffner (IPH Berlin)

 Date: Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 /   Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm


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

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

If you plan to attend, please register here (space is limited): https://goo.gl/forms/lRYREB8KHGCT6vi22

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

Hope to see you there!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 8.15.51 PM

May BEMC: Recap


A big thanks to Dr. Heidi Stöckl for the engaging talk on the challenges faced while conducting research on intimate partner violence and human trafficking. It was great to meet some new members of the Berlin epi community joining us for the first time and informally chat for an hour after the talk ended. See you at our next meeting on June 7th! Here’s some more info:

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017, 4-6pm 

Topic: “Lessons learned from Nephrology: Measurement and estimation in kidney function assessment” with speaker Prof. Elke Schäffner (Berlin). Registration is now open: click here!

Image uploaded from iOS

April meeting wrap-up

Many thanks to Ulrike Grittner and Annette Aigner for the nice mix of theory and practical examples in their talk on mixed models yesterday afternoon. We are happy to report an impressive turnout of 55 participants! Hopefully you enjoyed the session as much as we did. Stay turned for May meeting information coming shortly.

Edit: Also thanks to one of our members, Julia O., who shared this tutorial link to a step-by-step guide to mixed models in R. http://www.bodowinter.com/tutorials.html


Invite: April Meeting on Mixed Models

*March 27th update: The event is full. You can still sign up through the link below to join the waitlist. You will be notified via email if a spot becomes available.

Once again, thank you for an excellent turnout for Bob Siegerink’s talk on paradoxes in early March. We enjoyed networking with many of you after the event. It is wonderful to see our BEMC community growing. As promised, we would like to invite you to our next meeting in April; be sure to register since space is limited for this hot topic!

“Mixed models for epidemiologists” – Speakers: Dr. Ulrike Grittner (Berlin) & Annette Aigner (Hamburg)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017  Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Location: Seminar Room of the Neurology Clinic, first floor (Alte Nervenklinik)

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

You’ll find further details in the attached PDF.

If you plan to attend, please click here to register (space is limited): https://goo.gl/forms/G18T9O8DHO5FVRA73

Please feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested! Hope to see you there.

Best wishes,



March meeting: Recap

“The words of truth are always paradoxical” -Lao Tzu   … do you agree? 😉

Many thanks to our own Dr. Bob Siegerink for the thought-provoking talk on paradoxes last night. We were grateful for the big turnout and for your positive feedback both on the talk and the BEMC concept. Hope you enjoyed a bit of networking with fellow Berlin epidemiologists following the meeting.

Bob has shared his slides: here

A few impressions from last night:

Photo credits: JR, J. Hardt

See you in April (12th) for our next meeting on Mixed Models!