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Profile picture of Joost van Rosmalen

dr. J.M. (Joost) van Rosmalen, PhD

Assistant professor in biostatistics

Department Epidemiology

  • Department
  • Biostatistics



In recent years my research has focused on developing statistical methods to include external controls in the analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In rare diseases and in the context of precision medicine, it is often difficult to recruit sufficient patients for a fully powered RCT. Incorporating external information, such as historical controls (from previous RCTs) and real-world data from other types of studies, may increase the statistical power and reduce the required sample size. I have developed and extended several Bayesian statistical methods that perform dynamic borrowing of the external information, to account for possible differences between data sources. Furthermore, I have developed criteria to evaluate the suitability of external data.


Recently I have extended my research to the area of Bayesian response-adaptive trials, and I am the trial statistician of the Bayesian adaptive REMAP ECMO trial, in a collaboration with the Intensive Care Department. I have also published extensively on other topics, such as the analysis of repeated measurements (with applications in modeling hemoglobin in blood donors and the relationship between antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance), Bayesian statistics, and decision-analytic modeling.


Another core part of my position consists of providing biostatistical consultations to clinical researchers of Erasmus MC (especially the Department of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care Children) and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Dordrecht. I am also a member (methodologist) of the METC Erasmus MC, and  I teach introductory courses on statistics and mathematics to undergraduate students of medicine and students of the NIHES research school. I have been involved in the supervision of 9 PhD candidates, of whom 5 have finished their PhDs (1 cum laude), and I have published approximately 250 international scientific papers (H-index = 33).

Field(s) of expertise

    • Bayesian methods for dynamic borrowing of historical controls
    • Real-world data as a source of information for clinical trials and regulatory decision making
    • Bayesian adaptive clinical trials
    • Analysis of longitudinal data, with applications in modeling of blood donation data and antimicrobial resistance
    • Decision-analytic modeling and cost-effectiveness research



A complete overview of publications can be found at: link

My Groups