About Professor Lisa Bero

I am passionate about how to improve the translation of evidence into clinical practice and health policy. My research addresses the broad questions: What is evidence? How can we reduce bias in the evidence base, specifically the design, conduct and reporting of research? How can we communicate research findings in an understandable and convincing way to a variety of stakeholders? How can we promote the use of evidence in decision making while taking into account the social, political and ethical contexts of decisions? These questions have been applied to decisions regarding use of pharmaceuticals, public health interventions (e.g., tobacco control) and environmental hazards. My work has included research relevant to the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases (including diabetes and cardiovascular disease), cancer, and reproductive health.

Our research team uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and we are enriched by close collaborations across multiple disciplines. For example, my team conducted qualitative analyses of interviews with policy makers to examine barriers and facilitators to using research in decision making, as well as content analyses of policy documents to describe how research is contextualized and used in decision making. Data from these studies have informed the design and evaluation of interventions to improve the use of research evidence by consumers, clinicians and policy makers. We frequently use systematic review and meta-analysis techniques to evaluate and summarize evidence for policy decisions. In addition to conducting Cochrane and other systematic reviews, my research group has contributed to the development of methods for Cochrane reviews, including tools for assessing risks of bias and methods for identifying unpublished data.

I have a long-term track record of prolific publication in top journals, including JAMA, BMJ, PLoS Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, and others. A unique characteristic of my publication record is that it demonstrates the multidisciplinary nature of my work. I have published in medical, pharmacy and public health journals, as well as law journals, political science and policy journals. I am a steadily productive scholar with over 150 peer-reviewed research publications. Our scholarly work is also frequently cited in government and policy proceedings, as well as in books and government reports. I have served on multiple international committees relevant to the use of evidence in policy.

A large part of my research agenda has focused on medicines, particularly how to minimize biases in pharmaceutical research and how to communicate information about medicines more effectively to influence prescribing and policy decisions. One specific focus has been to improve the evidence base and promote the use of essential medicines in low resource settings. Of relevance to the multidisciplinary research environment at the Charles Perkins Centre, I have also applied my research paradigm in the areas of tobacco control and, more recently, environmental science and nutrition.

Selected publications

•Krauth D, Anglemyer A, Philipps R, Bero L. Nonindustry-sponsored preclinical studies on statins yield greater efficacy estimates than industry-sponsored studies: a meta-analysis. PLoS Biol. 2014 Jan; 12(1):e1001770. PMID: 24465178. PMCID: PMC3897361

•Chahal HS, St Fort N, Bero L. Availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines in Haiti. J Glob Health. 2013 Dec; 3(2):20405. PMID: 24363923. PMCID: PMC3868824

•Schroll JB, Bero L, Gøtzsche PC. Searching for unpublished data for Cochrane reviews: cross sectional study. BMJ. 2013; 346:f2231. PMID: 23613540. PMCID: PMC3633324

•Wolfe N, Gøtzsche PC, Bero L. Strategies for obtaining unpublished drug trial data: a qualitative interview study. Syst Rev. 2013; 2:31. PMID: 23680054. PMCID: PMC3685609

•Lundh A, Sismondo S, Lexchin J, Busuioc OA, Bero L. Industry sponsorship and research outcome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012; 12:MR000033.

•Hart B, Lundh A, Bero L. Effect of reporting bias on meta-analyses of drug trials: reanalysis of meta-analyses. BMJ. 2012; 344:d7202.

•Millar TP, Wong S, Odierna DH, Bero LA. Applying the essential medicines concept to US preferred drug lists. Am J Public Health. 2011 Aug; 101(8):1444-8.

•Odierna DH, Bero LA. Systematic reviews reveal unrepresentative evidence for the development of drug formularies for poor and nonwhite populations. J Clin Epidemiol. 2009 Dec; 62(12):1268-78.

•Jewell CJ, Bero LA. "Developing Good Taste in Evidence" facilitators of and hindrances to evidence-informed health policymaking in state government. Milbank Q. 2008 Jun; 86(2):177-208.

•Rising K, Bacchetti P, Bero L. Reporting bias in drug trials submitted to the Food and Drug Administration: review of publication and presentation. PLoS Med. 2008 Nov 25; 5(11):e217; discussion e217.