CONVERGE

The working group CONVERGE is dedicated to improving the development and application of state-of-the-art methods in medical and population health research.

The team is also involved in teaching and the mentoring project CONNECT in order to disseminate these methods both at the Charité and externally.
This also includes the establishment of international research cooperations and the methodical consulting of research projects.

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About us

The Causal methOds and NeuroVascular Epidemiology Research Group (CONVERGE) focuses on a wide range of methodological challenges and carries out epidemiological research on exposures and diseases in clinical and population health relevant areas.

Research on Neurovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Specifically, we seek to better understand the underlying causes and consequences of neurovascular and neurodegenerative diseases like migraine, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, which have a large burden on the population level. The multicausal nature, complexity, and unpredictability of the onset of these diseases make them particularly challenging to study, especially since the impact of individual risk and protective factors are known to change across the life course.

Related ongoing projects

  • Migraine, long-term vascular, cognitive outcomes, and mortality in observational datasets
  • Disentangling causal role of acute triggers in migraine pathophysiology
  • Performance of cardiovascular risk prediction models for cardiovascular outcomes in the elderly population
  • Secondary prevention of stroke: guideline development
  • Population-based registries for rare neurodegenerative diseases and corresponding reconstructed cohort study design.

Methods Research and Application

To tackle the methodological challenges posed by these complex research questions, our research team applies modern methodology, evaluates commonly applied methods and develops new techniques with the ultimate goal of providing reliable answers to important clinical and population health questions. In the age of ‘big data’, we value approaches backed by solid research questions and critical thinking, and rooted in a causal framework to better understand how diseases work. We also understand the importance of high-quality prediction tools in public health settings and seek to validate and improve existing tools regularly used in practice to inform precision medicine and targeted preventive strategies.

Related ongoing projects

  • Propensity score-based methods in causal inference
  • Promotion of the use of causal inference framework and directed acyclic graphs (DAGS) in Health Data Sciences and clinical research domains
  • Consulting activities including international and inter-institutional collaborations, methods exchange via the CONNECT program platform

Meta Research

Several of our research projects fall under the domain of meta research, in which we critically assess the quality of methods applied in current literature. We are specifically interested in quantifying the impact of methodological inconsistencies on individual study results, their interpretation, and their ultimate influence via implementation in guidelines and policies. Other projects explore the potential for digital health solutions in applied settings and take a critical look at research funding with respect to (global) disease burden.

Related projects

  • Reporting and interpretation of effect estimates in clinical studies
  • How blockchain technology could influence observational research and healthcare
  • Studying the rationale behind disbusement of disease-specific research funds in western countries.

Consultation and Collaboration

CONVERGE team members also provide consultation in the design and analysis stages of a wide variety of projects in clinical and population-based settings. Many of our research projects are based on several national and international research collaborations.

CONVERGE is also involved in multiple Innovation fonds projects:

  • SMARTGEM
  • ANNOTeM
  • Translate-NAMSE

Team

Team

Current core team:

  • Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD
  • Marco Piccininni, MSc
  • Jessica L Rohmann, MSc

Student assistants:

  • Helena Heese
  • Anja Collazo
  • Chris Vogel
  • Sophia Yap

Affiliated PhD and graduate students:

  • Sebastian Hinck
  • Sofia Gonçalves
  • Max Appenroth
  • Julia Nübel
  • Julia Thom
  • Aekyung Lee
  • Daniel Schmidt
  • Robert Hoffmann

Research group alumni:

  • Magdalen Gallagher
  • Annette Aigner

Opportunities to join our team:

We are looking for a research fellow

Application deadline: September 8th 2019