Matthias Briel

Prof. Dr. med.
Matthias Briel, MSc FMH

Senior Physician Clin Epi, Dep. of Clinical Resarch
Deputy Director, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Assistant Professor (pt), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

University Hospital Basel

Phone +41 61 328 50 92



Research Focus

Clinical Epidemiology, Public Health & Health Systems

Area of Research

The main focus is on empirical mixed methods research of randomised controlled trials, especially on various types of trial discontinuation, patient recruitment, resource use and costs, subgroup analysis, loss to follow-up, patient reported outcomes and protocol reporting. We are developing tools for better recruitment prediction, budget planning and judging the credibility of subgroup effects. In addition, we are conducting various types of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (aggregate data, individual patient data, network) in the fields of respiratory diseases and intensive care.

Approved Research Projects

2019 – 2022 Swiss National Science Foundation: “Making clinical trials more affordable – systematic investigation of trial costs and tool development.”; Role: Main applicant

2018 – 2020 Velux Foundation: “INSPIRE: Implementation of an integrated community-based care program for senior citizens”; Role: Co-applicant

2017 – 2021 Federal Office of Public Health: “Descriptive Statistics and Survey to investigate Swiss Clinical Research under the Human Research Act (HRA)"; Role: Main applicant

2017 – 2018 Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation: “Prediction of recruitment in randomized clinical trials – an empirical study”; Role: Main applicant

2016 – 2018 Marlis Geiser-Lemken Foundation: “A network metaanalysis of therapeutic options for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors”; Role: Co-applicant

2015 – 2018 Federal Office of Public Health: “Effect of the Swiss Human Research Legislation on the costs of randomized clinical trials in Switzerland”; Role: Co-applicant

2014 – 2018 Federal Office of Public Health: “Longitudinal evaluation of the accuracy and completeness of clinical trial protocols – evidence for improvement?”; Role: Main applicant


National Collaborations

  • Cochrane Switzerland (Dr. Erik von Elm), Institute for Social & Preventive Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne
  • Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) (Dr. Peter Brauchli), Bern
  • swissethics (Prof Susanne Driessen, Dr. Pietro Gervasoni), umbrella organisation of Swiss ethics committees, Bern
  • Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO) (Prof Christiane Pauli-Magnus, Dr. Annette Magnin, Dr. Andri Christen), umbrella organisation of Swiss clinical trial units
  • Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Division Research with Humans (Dr. Brigitte Meier, Dr. Matthias Rinderknecht), Bern
  • Institute for Bio- and Medical Ethics (Prof Bernice Elger), Basel
  • Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (Prof Matthias Schwenkglenks, Prof Milo Puhan), University of Zurich
  • Service d'épidémiologie clinique (PD Dr. Thomas Agoritsas), University Hospital Geneva
  • Médecine nucléaire et imagerie moléculaire (Prof Martin Walter), University Hospital Geneva
  • Clinic for Neonatology (Prof Dirk Bassler), University Hospital Zurich
  • Department of Medicine (Prof Philipp Schuetz), Cantonal Hospital Aarau
  • Department of Nursing Sciences, INSPIRE project (Prof Sabina de Geest), University of Basel
  • Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Prof Nino Künzli, Prof Christian Lengeler, PD Dr. Christian Schindler), University of Basel


International Collaborations

  • Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) (Prof Gordon Guyatt, Prof Holger Schünemann, Prof Stephen Walter, Prof Jason Busse, Prof John You, Prof Dominik Mertz, Prof Maureen Meade, Prof Deborah Cook), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
  • Department of Medical Biometry and Statistics (Prof Willi Sauerbrei), University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany
  • Cochrane Germany (PD Dr. Jörg Meerpohl, Dr. Anette Blümle), University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany
  • Trial Forge Initiative (Prof Shaun Treweek), Department of Health Services Research, University of Aberdeen, UK
  • Centre for Statistics in Medicine (Prof Sally Hopewell), University of Oxford, UK
  • Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (Prof Ignacio Ferreira Gonzalez), Vall d'Hebron Hospital, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit (Prof Victor Montori, Prof Hassan Murad), Mayo Clinic Rochester, USA
  • Clinical Research Institute (Prof Elie Akl), American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Department of Medicine (Prof Francois Lamontagne), University of Sherbrooke, Canada
  • Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) (Prof John Ioannidis), University of Stanford, USA
  • Centre for Evidence-based Practice (Prof Hans Lund), Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway
  • QUEST Center (Prof Daniel Strech), Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany
  • Department of Community Health and Epidemiology (Prof Bradley Johnston), Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • Chinese Evidence-based Medicine Center (Prof Xin Sun), West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
  • Department of Statistics (Prof Byron Gajewski), University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, USA
  • GRADE Working Group (subdivision health equity in guideline development, Prof Vivian Welch)

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Longitudinal evaluation of the accuracy and completeness of clinical trial protocols - the Adherence to SPIRIT Recommendations (ASPIRE) study
  • Systematic review on budget planning and cost monitoring tools
  • Cochrane Methods review of studies within trials (SWATs) on risk-based or centralised monitoring of clinical trials
  • Empirical mixed methods study on resource use and costs of clinical trials
  • Empirical investigation and tool development on recruitment prediction for randomised clinical trials (RECRUIT-IT) study
  • Longitudinal comparison of the prevalence and characteristics of patient reported outcomes in clinical trial protocols 2002-2012-2016
  • Assessing the design and conduct of multi-arm clinical trials
  • Use of outcome-related routinely collected data in clinical trials
  • Longitudinal comparison of the planning of subgroup analyses in trial protocols 2002-2012-2016
  • Longitudinal comparison of the discontinuation and non-publication of clinical trials 2002-2012-2016
  • Identification of ways to evaluate and implement the use of systematic reviews in the preparation of clinical studies - a Delphi study (workpackage 4, COST Action (CA17117), “Towards an International Network for Evidence-based Research in Clinical Health Research”)
  • Qualitative study on the attitudes and perspectives of trial investigators and other stakeholders on ethical issues with trial discontinuation

Research Team

Alain Amstutz
Dr. med. Alain Amstutz, PhD

Research Fellow

Phone - 

Benjamin Speich
Benjamin Speich, PhD

Research Fellow

Phone +41 61 328 55 46

Ala Taji Heravi
Ala Taji Heravi

PhD student

Phone +41 61 328 54 05

Viktoria Gloy
Dr. Sc. Viktoria Gloy

Research Fellow

Phone +41 61 328 54 03

Stefan Schandelmaier
Dr. med. Dr. phil. Stefan Schandelmaier

Research Fellow

Phone +41 61 328 54 12

Stuart Roger McLennan
Dr. Sc. Stuart Roger McLennan

Research Fellow

Phone+41 61 328 54 09

Alexandra Griessbach
Alexandra Griessbach

PhD Student

Phone +41 61 3288 54 09