BEMC Talks

BEMC Talks are generally held on the first Wednesday of each month at 4pm Berlin time (GMT+01:00) with some adjustments for holidays. An hour-long lecture will be followed by an interactive group discussion with the speaker.

Currently some BEMC Talks are held in a hybrid format (in-person plus live-streaming) and others are held in a digital format only.

We encourage you to register to secure your spot. Select BEMC Talks are recorded and posted on our YouTube channel.


2023 BEMC Talks


January 11, 2023
On Optimal Treatment Regimes Assisted by Algorithms
Mats Stensrud
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

“Doctors and other care providers desire to implement decision rules that, when applied to individuals in the population of interest, yield the best possible outcomes. For example, the current focus on precision medicine reflects the search for individualized treatment decisions, adapted to a patient’s characteristics. In this presentation, I will introduce superoptimal regimes, which are guaranteed to outperform conventional optimal regimes. Importantly, identification of superoptimal regimes and their values require exactly the same assumptions as identification of conventional optimal regimes in several common settings, including instrumental variable settings. The superoptimal regimes can also be identified in data fusion contexts, where experimental data and (possibly confounded) observational data are available. I will present two examples that have appeared in the optimal regimes literature, illustrating that the superoptimal regimes perform better than conventional optimal regimes.”


February 1, 2023
The Ethics of Adjustment
Jay Kaufman
McGill University, Montreal, Canada

“It is well-known that the conceptual basis for confounding adjustment in observational epidemiology is to mimic a randomized trial, but this does not provide a framework for descriptive studies. In particular, a major surveillance function of public health is the monitoring of social disparities, but the choice of covariate adjustments for such comparisons is not settled in the literature. This talk will propose a framework for such decisions.”


March 1, 2023
Time exists so that everything doesn’t happen at once
Jeremy Labrecque
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands

“In the last few decades, many of the advances made in causal inference and epidemiologic methods are explicitly related to time (e.g. estimating the effects of time-varying exposures, mediation analyses). But, in this talk, I will argue that we still don’t take time seriously enough. Building off work on time-varying exposures in Mendelian randomization, I will demonstrate that many of the directed acyclic graphs we use in epidemiology oversimplify the nature of time which can lead to bias, unclear research questions and incorrect interpretations.”


May 3, 2023
Craig Pollack
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA


June 7, 2023
Anabelle Wong
Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany


Talk titles/descriptions are subject to change. Use the links to register in advance. Space is limited!