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Sander Greenland

Professor Emeritus


DepartmentsType of Faculty
Contact Information

UCLA School of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
Box 951772. 71-279A CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Areas of Interest: 

Epidemiologic methodology; statistical methods for epidemiologic data; epidemiologic assessment of medicines and medical technology; foundations of nonexperimental inference.

Sander Greenland is Professor of Epidemiology and Statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics and Master's and Doctoral degrees in Epidemiology from the University of California. Since then he has become a leading contributor to epidemiologic statistics, theory, and methods. His focus has been the limitations and misuse of statistical methods in observational studies. He has authored or co-authored over 300 articles in epidemiology, statistics, and medical journals, and co-authored the textbook Modern Epidemiology. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Royal Statistical Society. He has served as an associate editor for several statistics and epidemiology journals, as an advisor for the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, the State of California, and the National Academy of Sciences, and has been an invited speaker at universities and conferences throughout the world.


MS., Public Health, University California, Los Angeles
Dr. PH., Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles
Selected Publications: 
  1. Greenland S. Multiple-bias modeling for analysis of observational data. J Royal Stat Soc A 2005; 168; 267-308.
  2. Greenland S. Bayesian perspectives for epidemiologic research, part I. Int J Epidemiol 2006; 35: 765-78.
  3. Greenland S, Gustafson P. Adjustment for independent nondifferential misclassification does not increase certainty that an observed association is in the correct direction. Am J Epidemiol 2006; 164: 63-8.
  4. Greenland S. Smoothing observational data: a philosophy and implementation for the health sciences. Int Statist Rev 2006; 74: 31-46.
  5. Greenland S. Bayesian perspectives for epidemiologic research, part II. Int J Epidemiol 2007; 36: 195-202.
  6. Greenland S. Prior data for non-normal priors. Stat Med 2007; 26: 3578-90.
  7. Greenland S. Maximum-likelihood and closed-form estimators of epidemiologic measures under misclassification. J Statist Planning Inference2007; 138: 528-38.
  8. Greenland S. Variable selection and shrinkage in the control of confounders. Am J Epidemiol 2008; 167: 523-9.
  9. Greenland S, Kheifets L. Designs and analyses for exploring the relation of magnetic fields to childhood leukemia. Scand J Public Health 2009; 37: 83-92.
  10. Greenland S. Interactions in epidemiology: relevance, identification, estimation. Epidemiology 2009; 20: 14-7.
  11. Greenland S. Dealing with uncertainty about investigator bias. J Epid Community Health 2009;63: 593-8.
  12. Greenland S. Weaknesses of Bayesian model averaging for meta-analysis in the study of vitamin E and mortality. Clin Trials 2009; 6:42-6.
  13. Greenland S. Bayesian perspectives for epidemiologic research, part III. Int J Epidemiol2009; 38: 1662-73.
  14. Greenland S. Relaxation penalties and priors for plausible modeling of nonidentified bias sources. Stat Science 2009; 24: 195-210.
  15. Greenland S. Simpson’s paradox from adding constants in contingency tables as an example of Bayesian noncollapsibility. The American Statistician 2010; 64:340-4.
  16. Greenland S and Poole C. Problems in common interpretations of statistics in scientific articles, expert reports, and testimony. Jurimetrics 2011; 51: 113-29
  17. Greenland S and Pearl J. Adjustments and their consequences – collapsibility analysis using graphical models. Int Statist Review 2011; 79: 401-26.
  18. Greenland S. Null misinterpretation in statistical testing and its impact on health risk assessment. Prev Med 2011; 53: 225-8.
  19. Greenland S. Cornfield, risk relativism, and research synthesis. Stat Med 2012; 31: 2773-7.
  20. Greenland S. Nonsignificance plus high power does not imply support for the null over the alternative. Ann Epidemiol 2012; 22: 364–8.
  21. Greenland S, Poole C. Living with P values. Epidemiology 2013; 24: 62-8.
  22. Greenland S, Poole C. Living with statistics in observational research. Epidemiology 2013; 24: 73-8.
  23. Greenland S, Pearce N. Statistical foundations for model-based adjustments. Ann Rev Public Health 2015; 36: 89-108.
  24. Greenland S. Concepts and pitfalls in measuring and interpreting causal attribution, preventive potential, and causation probabilities. Ann Epidemiol 2015; 25: 155-161.
  25. Greenland S, Mansournia M. Penalization, bias reduction, and default priors in logistic and related categorical and survival regressions.Stat Med 2015; 34: 3133–3143.
  26. Greenland S, Senn SJ, Rothman KJ, Carlin JC, Poole C, Goodman SN, Altman DG. Statistical tests, confidence intervals, and power: A guide to misinterpretations. Eur J Epidemiol31, 337-350.
  27. Greenland S, Mansournia M, Altman DG. Sparse-data bias: A problem hiding in plain sight. Br Med J 2016; 353:i1981, 1-6.
  28. Greenland S, Daniel R, Pearce N. Outcome modeling strategies in epidemiology: traditional methods and basic alternatives. Int J Epidemiol 2016; 45: 565–575.
  29. Greenland S. For and against methodology: Some perspectives on recent causal and statistical inference debates. Eur J Epidemiol 2017; 32; 3-20.
  30. Greenland S. The need for cognitive science in methodology. Am J Epidemiol 2017: 186; 639-645
  31. Greenland S, Fay MP, Brittain EH, Shih JH, Follmann DA, Gabriel EE, Robins, JM. On causal inferences for personalized medicine: How hidden causal assumptions led to erroneous causal claims about the D-value. The American Statistician 2019;73: in press.


  1. Greenland S (ed.) (1987). Evolution of Epidemiologic Ideas: Annotated Readings on Concepts and Methods. Chestnut Hill, MA: Epidemiology Resources Inc.
  2. Rothman KJ, Greenland S (1998). Modern Epidemiology, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven.
  3. Porta MS, Greenland S, Last JM (eds). (2008). A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
  4. Rothman KJ, Greenland S, Lash TL (2008). Modern Epidemiology, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Wolters-Kluwer.
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