John Ioannidis

John P. A. Ioannidis (/ˌiəˈndəs/; el:Ιωάννης Ιωαννίδης, Greek pronunciation: [i.ɔ.ˈa.nis i.ɔ.aˈni.ðis][1][2]; born August 21, 1965) is a Greek-American physician-scientist, writer and Stanford University professor who has made contributions to evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, and clinical research. Ioannidis studies scientific research itself, meta-research primarily in clinical medicine and the social sciences.

John P. A. Ioannidis
Born (1965-08-21) August 21, 1965 (age 55)
NationalityAmerican, Greek
Alma materUniversity of Athens Medical School
Athens College
Known forMetascience
Scientific career
FieldsMedicine, metascience
InstitutionsStanford School of Medicine

Ioannidis’ paper on “Why Most Published Research Findings are False” has been the most-accessed article in the history of Public Library of Science (over 3 million views in 2020).[3][4]

Ioannidis has been a prominent opponent of prolonged lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.[5][6]

Early life and educationEdit

Born in New York City in 1965, Ioannidis was raised in Athens, Greece.[8] He was valedictorian of his class at Athens College, graduating in 1984, and won a number of awards, including the National Award of the Greek Mathematical Society.[9] He graduated in the top rank of his class at the University of Athens Medical School, then attended Harvard University for his medical residency in internal medicine. He did a fellowship at Tufts University for infectious disease.[10]


From 1998 to 2010, Ioannidis was chairman of the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine. In 2002, he became an adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.[11][9] He has also been president of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology.[9] He is highly cited, having an h-index of 196 on Google Scholar in 2020.[12]

He is now Professor of Medicine, Health Research and Policy, and of Biomedical Data Science at Stanford University School of Medicine and a professor, by courtesy, of Statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences.[13][14] He is director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and co-director, along with Steven N. Goodman, of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).[15][16]

He was the editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation from 2010 to 2019.[17]


Ioannidis' 2005 paper "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False"[7] is the most downloaded paper in the Public Library of Science.[18][19][20][verification needed] In the paper, Ioannidis says that most published research does not meet good scientific standards of evidence. Ioannidis has also described the replication crisis in diverse scientific fields including genetics,[21] clinical trials,[22] neuroscience[23], and nutrition.[24] His work has aimed to identify solutions to problems in research, and on how to perform research more optimally.[25][26][non-primary source needed]

Ioannidis' research at Stanford focuses on meta-analysis and meta-research – the study of studies.[27] Thomas Trikalinos and Ioannidis coined the term Proteus phenomenon to describe tendency for early studies on a subject to find larger effect than later ones.[28]


Ioannidis' commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic has been the subject of increased media attention as well as objections from other researchers since the beginning of 2020.[6]

In an editorial on STAT published March 17, 2020, Ioannidis criticized the lack of informed decision-making in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it a "once-in-a-century evidence fiasco."[14] Marc Lipsitch, Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, objected to that characterization of the global response in a reply that was published on STAT the next day.[29]

In March 2020, Ioannidis tried to organize a meeting at the White House where he and colleagues would caution President Donald Trump against "shutting down the country for [a] very long time and jeopardizing so many lives in doing this," according to a proposal he submitted. The meeting did not come to pass, but on March 28, after Trump said he wanted the country reopened by Easter, Ioannidis wrote to his colleagues, "I think our ideas have inflitrated [sic] the White House regardless".[5]

As of August 2020, Ioannidis' meta-analysis of antibody tests estimated the median infection fatality rate of COVID-19 at 0.24% in 32 locations around the world, and 0.9% in the harder-hit areas.[30][31]

Santa Clara studyEdit

Ioannidis was a co-author in a controversial study, "COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California",[32] released as a preprint on April 17, 2020. It asserted that Santa Clara County's number of infections was 50 to 85 times higher than the official count, putting the virus’s fatality rate as low as 0.12% to 0.2%. The study drew widespread publicity, and some of its methods and conclusions were publicly disputed by other scientists.[33][34][35] It was reported that authors of the study received funding from JetBlue's founder, which led to criticism over a potential conflict of interest.[36][37] On May 11, the authors revised the study[32] with new figures that, according to one analysis, would suggest the virus's fatality rate is .33%.[38]

Press coverageEdit

In 2010, The Atlantic wrote a lengthy piece on Ioannidis, as a part of a special edition about "Brave Thinkers".[39][40]

In 2014, The Economist wrote a shorter piece about the foundation, by Ioannidis and Steven Goodman, of the Meta-Research Innovation Centre at Stanford.[41]

In 2015, he was profiled in the BMJ and described as "the scourge of sloppy science".[42]


Ioannidis has received numerous awards and honorary titles and he is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine,[43] of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and an Einstein Fellow.[13] In 2019, Ioannidis was awarded the NIH's Robert S. Gordon, Jr. Lecture in Epidemiology.[44]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ wikt:el:Ιωάννης
  2. ^ wikt:el:Ιωαννίδης.
  3. ^ Browse the 'Best in Class' articles from PLOS – Top Views, Public Library of Science, retrieved 15 October 2020
  4. ^ Ioannidis, John P. A. (30 August 2005), "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False", PLOS Medicine, doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124, retrieved 15 October 2020, 3,128,135 View
  5. ^ a b Lee, Stephanie M. "An Elite Group of Scientists Tried to Warn Trump Against Lockdowns in March". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  6. ^ a b Freedman, David. "A Prophet of Scientific Rigor—and a Covid Contrarian". Wired. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b Ioannidis, J. P. A. (2005). "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False". PLOS Medicine. 2 (8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124. PMC 1182327. PMID 16060722.
  8. ^ John Ioannidis, Harvard School of Public Health.
  9. ^ a b c Ioannidis, John P.A. "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  10. ^ Freedman, David H. (2010). Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us. Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 978-0-316-02378-8. Born in 1965 in the United States to parents who were both physicians, he was raised in Athens, where he showed unusual aptitude in mathematics and snagged Greece's top student math prize.
  11. ^ "John P.A. Ioannidis". Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine. Retrieved December 31, 2008.
  12. ^ Chrysopoulos, Philip (6 May 2020), "Two Greek Scientists Among Most Highly Cited in the World", Greek Reporter
  13. ^ a b "John P.A. Ioannidis". Stanford Profiles. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  14. ^ a b "A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data". STAT. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  15. ^ "John P. A. Ioannidis". CAP Profiles. Stanford School of Medicine. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  16. ^ "Prevention Research Center". Stanford School of Medicine. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "John Ioannidis". Stanford. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  18. ^ "Highly Cited Researchers". Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  19. ^ Medicine - Stanford Prevention Research Center. John P.A. Ioannidis
  20. ^ Robert Lee Hotz (September 14, 2007). "Most Science Studies Appear to Be Tainted By Sloppy Analysis". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  21. ^ Ioannidis, John P. A.; Ntzani, Evangelia E.; Trikalinos, Thomas A.; Contopoulos-Ioannidis, Despina G. (November 1, 2001). "Replication validity of genetic association studies". Nature Genetics. 29 (3): 306–309. doi:10.1038/ng749. ISSN 1061-4036. PMID 11600885. S2CID 6742347.
  22. ^ Ebrahim, Shanil; Sohani, Zahra N.; Montoya, Luis; Agarwal, Arnav; Thorlund, Kristian; Mills, Edward J.; Ioannidis, John P. A. (September 10, 2014). "REanalyses of randomized clinical trial data". JAMA. 312 (10): 1024–1032. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9646. ISSN 0098-7484. PMID 25203082.
  23. ^ Button, Katherine S.; Ioannidis, John P. A.; Mokrysz, Claire; Nosek, Brian A.; Flint, Jonathan; Robinson, Emma S. J.; Munafò, Marcus R. (May 1, 2013). "Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience". Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 14 (5): 365–376. doi:10.1038/nrn3475. ISSN 1471-003X. PMID 23571845.
  24. ^ Ioannidis, John P. A. (2018-09-11). "The Challenge of Reforming Nutritional Epidemiologic Research". JAMA. 320 (10): 969–970. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.11025. ISSN 0098-7484. PMID 30422271.
  25. ^ Begley, C. Glenn; Ioannidis, John P. A. (January 2, 2015). "Reproducibility in science: improving the standard for basic and preclinical research". Circulation Research. 116 (1): 116–126. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.303819. ISSN 1524-4571. PMID 25552691.
  26. ^ Ioannidis, John P. A. (October 21, 2014). "How to Make More Published Research True". PLOS Med. 11 (10): e1001747. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001747. PMC 4204808. PMID 25334033.
  27. ^ Joan O’C. Hamilton (2012), "Something Doesn't Add Up", Stanford Magazine
  28. ^ Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution, Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 240, ISBN 9780691137292
  29. ^ Lipsitch, Marc (March 18, 2020). "We know enough now to act decisively against Covid-19. Social distancing is a good place to start".
  30. ^ Fox, Justin (August 6, 2020). "The Great Covid-19 Versus Flu Comparison Revisited". Bloomberg Opinion. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  31. ^ Ioannidis, John (2020-07-14). "The infection fatality rate of COVID-19 inferred from seroprevalence data". MedRxiv: 2020.05.13.20101253. doi:10.1101/2020.05.13.20101253. S2CID 218676078.
  32. ^ a b Bendavid, Eran; Mulaney, Bianca; Sood, Neeraj; Shah, Soleil; Ling, Emilia; Bromley-Dulfano, Rebecca; Lai, Cara; Weissberg, Zoe; Saavedra-Walker, Rodrigo; Tedrow, James; Tversky, Dona (2020-04-30). "COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California". MedRxiv: 2020.04.14.20062463. doi:10.1101/2020.04.14.20062463. S2CID 216033992.
  33. ^ Ting, Eric (2020-04-20). "Experts question results of startling Santa Clara coronavirus antibody study". SFGate. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  34. ^ "Two Antibody Studies Say Coronavirus Infections Are More Common Than We Think. Scientists Are Mad". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  35. ^ "How (Not) to Do an Antibody Survey for SARS-CoV-2". The Scientist Magazine. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  36. ^ Lee, Stephanie. "JetBlue's Founder Helped Fund A Stanford Study That Said The Coronavirus Wasn't That Deadly". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  37. ^ Landsverk, Gabby. "A controversial study on coronavirus was partly funded by an airline founder who's criticized lockdowns, according to a new investigation from BuzzFeed News". Business Insider. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  38. ^ Ting, Eric (2020-05-12). "Researchers adjust results of startling Santa Clara antibody study". SF Gate. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  39. ^ Freedman, David H. (2010-10-04). "Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  40. ^ "Brave Thinkers", The Atlantic, 2010
  41. ^ "Combating bad science: Metaphysicians". The Economist.
  42. ^ Ioannidis, J. (2015). "John Ioannidis: Uncompromising gentle maniac". BMJ. 351: h4992. doi:10.1136/bmj.h4992. ISSN 1756-1833. PMID 26404555. S2CID 10953475.
  43. ^ "National Academy of Medicine Elects 85 New Members". National Academy of Medicine. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  44. ^ "2019 Awardee". Office of Disease Prevention. Retrieved 22 April 2020.

External linksEdit