Welcome to my website! I am an applied statistician and (pharmaco)epidemiologist with a special interest in advanced statistical methods for counterfactual causal inference and an emerging interest in machine learning.

Please note that I am currently looking to fill this vacancy for a PhD student! If you’re interested in precision medicine and pharmaceutical data science, I’m looking to hear from you! Deadline is May 30, 2021.

From May 1st, 2021, I will take on the role of Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Precision Drug Therapy at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, University of Groningen. My intention is to continue my focus on dynamic treatment regimes and g-methods, but now from a pharmaceutical therapy angle. I am also very interested in learning about the intersection between statistical methodologies (especially in observational settings) and drug regulatory affairs. Currently, I am the Deputy Head of the Population Health laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), where I was previously employed as a Research ScientistMJBijlsma. At the MPIDR, I am primarily concerned with applying causal inference methods to study population health and mortality, but I also study various other things, such as fertility.

Recently, I developed an R-package named cfdecomp that performs causal mediation analysis with the g-formula: you can find the official package on CRAN, and the bones of it on my Github page. This package is based on a working paper with Nikkil Sudharsanan. The working paper has been accepted for publication in International Journal of Epidemiology.

See the rest of this site for my CV, Publications, an archive of my blog posts, and my contact info.

Since I get asked questions about it: my surname comes from Frisian. A ‘Bijl’ is an axe or a hatchet, and ‘ma’ comes all the way from Old Frisian (probably) meaning ‘of the people of’. If you don’t know how to pronounce it, following English orthography just say ‘Bell-sma’ or ‘Beel-sma’ (either way is fine).