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Daniela Dunkler
Daniela Dunkler

Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics and Intelligent Systems (Institute of Clinical Biometrics)
Position: Associate Professor

ORCID: 0000-0003-1339-0311
T +43 1 40400 66820

Further Information


Biostatistics; Epidemiology; Prognosis; Public Health; Regression Analysis; Risk Assessment; Survival Analysis

Research interests

My primary interest is in statistical modeling in etiologic and predictive research. A focus of my methodological research is objective and reproducible variable selection. Obtaining and communicating easily comprehensible effect size measures to support patients’ decisions on treatment or to support public health recommendations is another research focus of mine. In a former project, I explored weighted estimation in Cox regression as a means to deal with non-proportional hazards, i.e. time-dependent effects, a condition frequently occurring in medical data.

Another main interest is to apply statistical modeling approaches to the investigation of epidemiologic research questions. In the last years I focused on the role of modifiable lifestyle and dietary risk factors on the development of early chronic kidney disease in individuals with type 2 diabetes after 5.5 years of follow-up based on the re-use of data from a large-scale, multicenter clinical trial.


What I love about my profession? While as a statistician I can develop new methods and algorithms to learn from the data, as a biostatistician I can apply these methods to extract important patterns and to separate ‘information’ from ‘noise’—in short to make sense of medical data.    

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

For routine application of all new methodological developments software implementations in standard statistical software are made publicly available at and

Two risk prediction models for incidence or progression of chronic kidney disease are also publicly available at


  • CVD-Risk ‘Development of an Austrian Risk Prediction Model for the Assessment of the Cardiovascular Risk (2015)
    Source of Funding: OeNB (Oesterreichische Nationalbank), Anniversary Fund
    Principal Investigator

Selected publications

  1. Dunkler, D. et al., 2014. Augmented Backward Elimination: A Pragmatic and Purposeful Way to Develop Statistical Models J. Olivier, ed. PLoS ONE, 9(11), p.e113677. Available at:
  2. Dunkler, D., Sauerbrei, W. & Heinze, G., 2016. Global, Parameterwise and Joint Shrinkage Factor Estimation. J. Stat. Soft., 69(8). Available at:
  3. Dunkler, D., Schemper, M. & Heinze, G., 2010. Gene selection in microarray survival studies under possibly non-proportional hazards. Bioinformatics, 26(6), pp.784-790. Available at:
  4. Dunkler, D., 2013. Diet and Kidney Disease in High-Risk Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. JAMA Intern Med. Available at:
  5. Dunkler, D. et al., 2016. Population-Attributable Fractions of Modifiable Lifestyle Factors for CKD and Mortality in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: A Cohort Study. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Available at: