Biostatistics; Confounding Factors (Epidemiology); Prognosis; Regression Analysis
- Prognosis research
Research Area: Prognosis research in medicine aims at understanding and improving future outcomes of individuals. We work on aspects of developing, translating and applying statistical methodology in prognosis research. Co-leaders: Daniela Dunkler and Georg Heinze
My work is devoted to prognostic research, in particular to all aspects of developing, translating and applying statistical methodology in prognostic research. Prognostic research in medicine aims at understanding and improving future outcomes of patients (Hemingway BMJ 2013). I develop, translate and apply biostatistical methods for prognostic research with observational data.
I have developed methods for statistical modeling with rare outcome events and sparse data (e.g. refs. 2, 5).
Our review of variable selection (ref. 1) has been classified by Clarivate Analytics Web of Science as ‘Hot Paper’, placed in the top 0.1% of papers by citation intensity in the academic field of Mathematics.
The STRATOS initiative (www.stratos-initiative.org), in which I serve as member of the steering group and chair of a topic group, aims at developing guidance documents that translate statistical knowledge to the research community at large. Moreover, I have published a series of educational papers for the medical research community.
I also apply state-of-the-art methodology in clinical epidemiology and health services research and I have published several observational studies as first author (e.g. refs. 3, 4). I contributed to more than 200 collaborative papers.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
In prognostic research, we focus on penalized likelihood techniques for prediction and effect estimation. In several research projects, we have in particular investigated the Firth penalty (Jeffreys prior) as a solution to the problem of non-existence of regression coefficients estimated by maximum likelihood in various risk models. Other research has focused on algorithmic variable selection methods, on analyses of high-dimensional (omics) data or on the optimization of prediction models.
In evaluating new methodology, we use simulation studies, by which we can learn how methods perform under various conditions. In our simulation studies, we always try to define scenarios that are likely to be encountered in real-life data analysis. While in single-data set analyses the underlying population is usually unknown, simulation studies have the advantage that the population properties are defined by the experimentator, enabling the generalizability of results.
- SCOUT - Supporting Causal Conclusions from Observational Survival Studies (2018)
Source of Funding: EU, H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
Coordinator of the collaborative project
- CaReSyAn - Combatting the CardioRenal Syndrome: towards an integrative analysis to reduce cardiovascular burden in chronic kidney disease (2017)
Source of Funding: EU, ITN
- Predicting rare events more accurately (PREMA) (2015)
Source of Funding: FWF (Austrian Science Fund), Joint projects
- Heinze, G., Wallisch, C. & Dunkler, D., 2018. Variable selection - A review and recommendations for the practicing statistician. Biometrical Journal. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bimj.201700067.
- Mansournia, M.A. et al., 2017. Separation in Logistic Regression - Causes, Consequences, and Control. American Journal of Epidemiology. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx299.
- Eichinger, S. et al., 2010. Risk Assessment of Recurrence in Patients With Unprovoked Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism: The Vienna Prediction Model. Circulation, 121(14), pp.1630-1636. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.925214.
- Heinze, G. et al., 2009. Mortality in renal transplant recipients given erythropoietins to increase haemoglobin concentration: cohort study. BMJ, 339(oct23 1), pp.b4018-b4018. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4018.
- Heinze, G. & Schemper, M., 2002. A solution to the problem of separation in logistic regression. Statistics in Medicine, 21(16), pp.2409-2419. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sim.1047.