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My work aims to improve research methods and practices and to enhance approaches to integrating information and generating reliable evidence. Science is the best thing that can happen to humans, but doing research is like swimming in an ocean at night. Science thrives in darkness. Born in New York City in 1965 and raised in Athens, Greece. Valedictorian (1984) at Athens College; National Award of the Greek Mathematical Society (1984); MD (top rank of medical school class) from the National University of Athens (1990); also received DSc in biopathology from the same institution. Trained at Harvard and Tufts (internal medicine, Infectious diseases), then held positions at NIH, Johns Hopkins and Tufts. Chaired the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina Medical School in 1999-2010 while also holding adjunct professor positions at Harvard, Tufts, and Imperial College. Moved to Stanford in 2010, initially as Director/C.F. Rehnborg Chair at Stanford Prevention Research Center, then diversified with appointments in 4 departments and membership in 8 centers/institutes at Stanford. Launched the PhD program in Epidemiology & Clinical Research and the MS program in Community Health & Prevention Research. Launched METRICS in 2014. Senior Advisor on Knowledge Integration at NCI/NIH (2012-6). Vice President (2022-3) then President (2023-4), Association of American Physicians. Served as President, Society for Research Synthesis Methodology, and editorial board member of many leading journals (including PLoS Medicine, Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, JNCI among others) and as Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Clinical Investigation (2010-2019). Delivered ~700 invited and honorary lectures. Recipient of many awards (e.g. European Award for Excellence in Clinical Science , Medal for Distinguished Service, Teachers College, Columbia U , Chanchlani Global Health Award , Epiphany Science Courage Award , Einstein fellow , Gordon award , Albert Stuyvenberg Medal (2021), Harwood Prize ). Inducted in Association of American Physicians (2009), European Academy of Cancer Sciences (2010) American Epidemiological Society (2015), European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2015), National Academy of Medicine (2018), Accademia delle Scienze (Bologna) (2021). Honorary titles from FORTH (2014) and Ioannina (2015), honorary doctorates from Rotterdam (2015), Athens (2017), Tilburg (2019), Edinburgh (2021). Multiple honorary lectureships/visiting professorships (Caltech, Oxford, LSHTM, Yale, U Utah, U Conn, UC Davis, U Penn, Wash U St. Louis, NIH among others). The PLoS Medicine paper on “Why most published research findings are false” is the most-accessed article in the history of Public Library of Science (>3 million hits). Author of 9 literary books, three of them shortlisted for best book of the year Anagnostis awards in Greece. Latest book (in English, published in 2022) is 2 books hyperlinked to each other. Brave Thinker scientist for 2010 per Atlantic, “may be one of the most influential scientists alive”. Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate) in both Clinical Medicine and in Social Sciences. h=247 (Google Scholar), current citation rate: >6,000 new citations per month (among the 6 scientists worldwide who are currently the most commonly cited). When contrasted against my vast ignorance, these values offer excellent proof that citation metrics can be horribly unreliable. I have no personal social media accounts - I admire people who can outpour their error-free wisdom in them, but I make a lot of errors, I need to revisit my writings multiple times before publishing, and I see no reason to make a fool of myself more frequently than it is sadly unavoidable. I consider myself privileged to have learned and to continue to learn from interactions with students and young scientists (of all ages) from all over the world and I love to be constantly reminded that I know next to nothing.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major global crisis and obtaining reliable evidence is essential for optimizing outcomes and saving lives. Here is a list of my published work on this major challenge. Misinformation and distortion of my work and of the work of other scientists unfortunately is rampant. Evidence is accumulating rapidly and readers should try to consult always the most up-to-date and most reliable information.
My work is trying to optimize the chances of getting more reliable, trustworthy, and useful research. I have worked in the fields of evidence-based medicine, clinical investigation, clinical and molecular epidemiology, clinical research methodology, empirical research methods, statistics, and genomics. I have a strong interest in meta-research and in large-scale evidence (in particular randomized trials and meta-analyses) and in appraisal and control of diverse biases in biomedical research and beyond. I am interested in developing and applying new research methods, and in the interdisciplinary enhancement of existing research methods for study design and analysis. Some of my most influential papers in terms of citations are those addressing issues of reproducibility, replication validity, biases in biomedical research and other fields, research synthesis methods, extensions of meta-analysis, genome-wide association studies and agnostic evaluation of associations, and validity of randomized trials and observational research. I have also designed, steered and participated in influential randomized trials (in particular, the major trials that changed decisively the management and outcome of HIV infection, but also trials in nephrology, and in antibiotic use in the community), and large international consortia that have helped transform the efficiency of research in diverse fields of genomic, molecular and clinical epidemiology. I enjoy working with a diverse array of colleagues from very diverse disciplines and to have an opportunity to learn from both senior and junior investigators, and particularly students at all levels.
Personal Genomics for Preventive Cardiology
The purpose of this study is to see if providing information to a person on their inherited
(genetic) risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) helps to motivate that person to change their
diet, lifestyle or medication regimen to alter their risk.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact Josh Knowles, 650-804-2526.
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