Holger Jens Schünemann

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Holger Jens Schünemann (born March 8, 1967 in Braunschweig, Germany) is a physician and professor of medicine and Clinical epidemiology. Since February 1, 2009, he is the chair of the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (formerly the "Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics") at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.[1][2]

He also holds positions as professor at the University at Buffalo, Department of Medicine, US;[3] visiting professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany;[4] director of Cochrane Canada;[5] and director of the McMaster GRADE Centre.[6]


Schünemann studied epidemiology (M.Sc. in epidemiology, 1997) during his postdoctoral fellowship in molecular and cellular biology.  He then conducted population-based studies on the association between oxidative stress, micronutrients and respiratory health with a promotion to a Ph.D. degree (epidemiology & community medicine, 2000) and also completed training in internal medicine and preventive medicine at the Medical School of Hannover, Germany, and at the University at Buffalo, where he joined the faculty in 2000.[7]


From 2005 to 2009 Schünemann was at the Italian National Cancer Center in Rome, Italy,[8] before moving to McMaster University as a full-time professor and becoming chair of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. In his second term as chair of this prestigious department, he led the strategic plan to refocus the department as the "Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI)", a first of its kind.[9] 

Schünemann’s scientific work focuses on evidence synthesis, quality of life research and the development and presentation of healthcare recommendations spanning several disciplines from Clinical Medicine to Public Health.

Schünemann has authored or co-authored over 550 peer-reviewed publications.[10] He has been named by Thomson Reuters as one of the most influential 3,000 scientific minds of current times across scientific disciplines (from agriculture to zoology) in 2015, 2016 and 2017[11] and is listed amongst the 1612 most highly cited scientists of all times.[12]

Schünemann is director of Cochrane Canada,[13] a member of Guidelines International Network's[14] Board of Trustees, a member of the advisory committee on health research at the World Health Organization (WHO), co-director of the McMaster University WHO collaborating center for evidence informed policy-making, and director of the McMaster GRADE center. As editor in chief, he leads the journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.[15]

Guidelines development and GRADE methodology[edit]

As a key contributor to the revised methods for WHO guideline development in 2006, and the Institute of Medicine statement on trustworthy guidelines in 2011, Schünemann has co-led the reshaping of guideline development methodology.[16] He is co-chair of the GRADE Working Group,[17] for which he coined the name GRADE and has played a major role in disseminating its spirit of collaboration, openness, the advancement of evidence assessment, and the creation of better health care recommendations. GRADE is an acronym for Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation. The result of the group’s efforts is a common, sensible, and transparent approach to grading the quality (or certainty) of evidence and grading the strength of healthcare recommendations – this is called the GRADE approach.[18]

Schünemann’s work also focuses on the practical application of scientific evidence by researchers and clinicians, through co-inventing tools like the GRADEpro[19] guideline development tool, and pioneering the use of GRADE Evidence to Decision tables,[20] now reworked as GRADE Evidence to Decision Frameworks.

With his colleagues Schünemann has recently created a "go to" crowdsourcing portal for developers of healthcare recommendations in collaboration with the Guideline International Network.[21]


  1. ^ "McMaster University Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact >> Holger Schunemann". fhs.mcmaster.ca. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  2. ^ "EBHC International Conference 2017". Ebhc.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Holger J Schünemann, MD, PhD – Epidemiology and Environmental Health – University at Buffalo". sphhp.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Universitaetsklinikum Freiburg". Rarebestpractices.eu. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Home – Cochrane Canada". canada.cochrane.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  6. ^ "About GRADE". cebgrade.mcmaster.ca. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  7. ^ "LinkedIn profile - Holger Jens Schünemann". linkedin.com. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Istituto Regina Elena (IRE). Cancer Institutes – Directory". ecancer.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  9. ^ "McMaster University Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact >> Introduction". fhs.mcmaster.ca. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  10. ^ pubmeddev. "Schünemann H – PubMed – NCBI". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2017-09-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "2258 Highly Cited Researchers (h>100) according to their Google Scholar Citations public profiles – Ranking Web of Universities". Webometrics.info. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Cochrane Canada Centre". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Holger Schünemann — Guidelines International Network". G-i-n.net. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Health and Quality of Life Outcomes". Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  16. ^ www.mcmasterhealthforum.org. "McMaster Health Forum – WHO Collaborating Centre". Mcmasterhealthforum.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  17. ^ "GRADE home". Gradeworkinggroup.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  18. ^ "GRADEpro – GDT". gradepro.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  19. ^ "GRADEpro – GDT". gradepro.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Key DECIDE tools – DECIDE (2011–2015)". Decide-collaboration.eu. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Guideline Development Checklist". cebgrade.mcmaster.ca. Retrieved 13 October 2017.

External links[edit]