SODAS Pop-up Talk w/ Eleanor J. Murray

SODAS talk: purple colour in water
Using the target trial framework to improve decision making when our data are too big, too small, or too complex

Thursday the 28th of November, SODAS host a SODAS Pop-up Talk with Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Eleanor J. Murray, ScD, Boston. She is currently an Assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. Her research is on causal inference methodology for improving evidence-based decision-making by patients, clinicians, and policy makers. She uses novel statistical methods to answer comparative effectiveness questions for complex and time-varying treatments using observational data and randomized trials when available, and individual-level simulation modeling when insufficient data exist in the time frame required for decision-making. She is currently applying these methods to a variety of medical conditions including HIV progression, cancer, psychiatric conditions, and cardiovascular disease. 


The target trial framework is a useful tool for causal decision making. It helps us frame and understand the questions we are asking of our data, avoid common biases, and correctly interpret the results of our research from both observational studies and from randomized trials. This framework can even be applied to simulation-based methods to gain insight into the causal consequences of exposures on networks and other settings where causal inference has been traditionally limited. However, maximizing the usefulness of the target trial framework requires a strong understanding of randomized trials – something often considered beyond the scope of epidemiology. This talk will describe the target trial framework, and the required assumptions, interpretation of results, and applications of this framework to making meaningful decisions using big data, small data, and complex data, and conclude with a brief discussion of the role of machine learning in causal inference.

The SODAS Pop-up Talk will take place at SODAS in building 1, 2nd floor, room 26 (1.2.26) of the CSS Campus, University of Copenhagen, from 9:00 am - 10:00 am Thursday the 28th of November 2019.

If you have questions or want to know more, please write Sophie Smitt Sindrup Grønning at