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Doug Altman

Professor of Statistics in Medicine and Director of the UK EQUATOR Centre

  • Co-Director of OCTRU

Medical statistician with over 40 years’ experience

I have led the Medical Statistics Group of Cancer Research UK (previously Imperial Cancer Research Fund) since 1988. The group moved from London to Oxford in 1995, where I founded the Centre for Statistics in Medicine. In 2006 I founded the EQUATOR Network, which seeks to improve the quality of scientific publications by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of health research.

My varied research interests include the use and abuse of statistics in medical research, studies of prognosis, regression modelling, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, randomised trials, and studies of medical measurement. I collaborate in methodological research projects aimed at improving the way research is done and am deeply involved in efforts to improve the quality of reporting of medical research studies. I also contribute my statistical expertise to clinical trials and other clinical research studies.

Reporting guidelines are a key part of my focus on improving the quality of research reporting. I am a member of executive groups developing reporting guidelines for many study types, such as CONSORT for randomised controlled trials, STROBE for observational research, PRISMA for systematic reviews, ARRIVE for animal preclinical research, SPIRIT for clinical trial protocols, REMARK for tumour studies, and TRIPOD for multivariable prediction models.

I have published over 750 peer-reviewed articles, many in medical journals to clarify statistical ideas for medical researchers. I am senior statistics editor at the BMJ, founding co-editor-in-chief of Trials and am on the editorial boards of several other journals.

In 1997 I received the Bradford Hill Medal of the Royal Statistical Society for my contributions to medical statistics. In 2007 I received the Council of Science Editors Award for Meritorious Achievement, and in 2015 I received the BMJ’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

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