George Davey Smith is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Director of the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU) at the University of Bristol. He is also Scientific Director of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and their Children (ALSPAC) and Scientific Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Bristol.
George Davey Smith is a clinical epidemiologist who has focused on methods for improving causal inference in studies of disease aetiology and disease prevention. His work has involved early implementation of ‘negative controls’ in epidemiological studies, the use of cross-context comparisons, sensitivity analyses, unobtrusive data collection methods and randomized trials in thought-to-be difficult situations. He pioneered the use of germline genetic variants for investigating modifiable causes of disease (‘Mendelian randomization’), developed several extensions of the basic method, and contributed to its application in many settings. He is an advocate of the pre-specified application of a range of methods, with different structures of potential biases, to the same question (‘triangulation’), as the key approach to strengthening causal inference.
He is a member of the Labour Party