Causal Mediation Analysis Training: Methods and Applications Using Health Data

Most recent Causal Mediation Analysis Training in NYC: July 10-12, 2019


The Causal Mediation Analysis Training is a 3-day intensive boot camp of seminars and hands-on analytical sessions to provide an overview of concepts, data analysis methods used to investigate mediating mechanisms.



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Summer 2019 dates: July 10-12, 2019; 9:00am-5:00pm

Mediation analysis is an emerging field in causal inference relevant for comparative effectiveness research, evaluating and improving policy recommendations, and explaining biological mechanisms. Training in the potential outcomes framework for causal inference is important to understand the assumptions required for valid mediation analyses. This course will equip participants with foundational concepts and cutting edge statistical tools to investigate mediating mechanisms.

This three-day intensive course will cover some of the recent developments in causal mediation analysis and provide practical tools to implement these techniques and assess the mechanisms and pathways by which causal effects operate. Led by a team of experts in causal mediation techniques at Columbia University, this course will integrate lectures and discussion with hands-on computer lab sessions using R, SAS, and Stata. The course will cover the relationship between traditional methods for mediation in environmental health, epidemiology, and the social sciences and new methods in causal inference using a wide variety of examples to illustrate the techniques and approaches. We will discuss 1) when the standard approaches to mediation analysis are valid for dichotomous, continuous, and time-to-event outcomes, 2) using ideas from causal inference and natural direct and indirect effects, alternative mediation analysis techniques (parametric and semiparametric) when the standard approaches will not work, 3) the no-confounding assumptions needed for these techniques and sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of violation of these assumptions, and 4) how such mediation analysis approaches can be extended in the presence of multiple mediators.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be familiar with the following topics:

  • Understand when traditional methods for mediation fail
  • Learn the concepts about mediation and assumptions for identification from causal inference
  • Learn regression approaches for mediation for single and multiple mediators
  • Develop facility with use of software for mediation

Investigators at all career stages are welcome to attend, and we particularly encourage trainees and early-stage investigators to participate.


Linda Valeri, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University 

Caleb Miles, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University 


Mark van der Laan, PhD, University of California, Berkeley


Each participant must be familiar with linear and logistic regression. A laptop is not required for this training. All hands-on data analysis sessions will be done in a computer lab.


The Causal Mediation Analysis Training will take place on the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) Campus in New York City. Morning lectures will be held at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W. 168th Street, Allan Rosenfield Building (Please note that the entrance to the building is on the 10th floor), and all hands-on computer lab sessions will take place right across the street at the Hammer Building. 

General transportation and lodging information can be found in the Getting Around section. A PDF map of the 2019 Training location on the CUMC campus will be available closer to training dates. 


This training provided really comprehensive instruction on causal mediation, which was enhanced by the hands-on lab. Overall, I felt like the gained the tools to implement causal mediation techniques in my own work. - Faculty member at University of Washington School of Public Health, 2019 

Both instructors did a great job in pacing the material and explaining starting from the foundation. There were also some great examples that were being explored.Kaylee H., Statistician at Weill Cornell Medicine, 2019 

The format of the training with theory on Day 1, and practicum on day 2-3 afternoon was great; very useful for adult learning.  The instructors were very patient with the wide range of skill levels of the trainees balancing the depth of teaching with the assistance in basic skills. - Vidhu T., Assistant Professor at Columbia University, 2019

The workshop was informative, the lecturers were knowledgeable and the hands-on component (lab) facilitated application of theoretical principles to techniques. - Lillian P, Postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University, 2019

This was a highly useful, immediately applicable training led by excellent instructors. They provided an effective overview of underlying concepts (counterfactuals, directed acyclic graphs, marginal structural models), and in-depth instruction on various methods for assessing mediation, as well as opportunities to practice applying these methods using multiple statistical software programs. - Sarah L., Epidemiologist


 Early-Bird Rate (through 5/15/19)Regular Rate (5/16/19-6/26/19)Columbia Discount*
Student/Postdoc/Trainee  $1,495 $1,69510%
Faculty/Academic Staff/Non-Profit Organizations$1,695$1,89510%
Corporate/For-Profit Organizations​$1,795$1,995NA

*Columbia Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University. To access Columbia discount, email for instructions.

Registration Fee: Fee includes course material, breakfast, lunch, and refreshment breaks. Course material will be available to all students after the workshop. Lodging and transportation are not included.  

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the workshop start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the workshop will receive a 50% refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to Due to workshop capacity, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations after these dates. 

If you are unable to attend the training, we encourage you to send a substitute within the same registration category. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Should the substitute fall within a different registration category your credit card will be credited/charged respectively. Please email substitute inquiries to






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Questions? Email the CMA team at

The Causal Mediation Analysis Training is hosted by Columbia University's Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health.