Lex Bouter was born in Rotterdam in 1956. After obtaining a MSc degree in Medical Biology at Utrecht University in 1982, he lectured at teacher training colleges in Tilburg and Utrecht. In 1984 he joined Maastricht University, where he was trained as an epidemiologist and obtained his PhD. In 1988 he published a textbook on epidemiology, the seventh revised Dutch edition of which appeared in 2016 and the first English edition in 2018.
In 1992 Bouter took up a tenured position as Professor of Epidemiology and became Scientific Director of the EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam (1992-2006). He was Editor (1996-2002) and Editor-in-Chief (2002-2006) of the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group.
From 2001 until 2006 he additionally chaired of one of the six divisions at the VU University Medical Center. He was president of the Netherlands Epidemiological Society (1996-1997), member of the Health Council of the Netherlands (2001-2013), vice-chair and methodologist of the Dutch Central Committee on Research involving Human Subjects (2001-2013), and chair of the program committee of the Innovative Medical Devices Initiative (2009-2018) of Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, and chair of the program committee for Replication Studies (since 2016) of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.
From 2006 until 2013 he was Rector Magnificus and member of the Executive Board of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In this function he focused on combining research groups in interdisciplinary research institutes. Also as rector Lex pleaded for attention for the societal impact of research. And he became interested in the dilemmas around scientific integrity.
Subsequently Lex prepared for a return to science during a sabbatical leave. In 2014 his tenured professorship was broadened to Methodology and Integrity. He is currently involved in teaching and research regarding responsible conduct of research, questionable research practices and research misconduct. In 2017 Bouter was appointed as member of the Council for Medical Research of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017 he organized and co-chaired the 5th World Conference on Research Integrity in Amsterdam and became chair of the World Conferences on Research Integrity Foundation.
Lex Bouter is author or co-author of 687 scientific publications contained in the Web of Science, which have been cited more than 52,000 times (WoS h-index of 117 and Google Scholar h-index of 158). He is listed among the 400 most influential biomedical researchers and has supervised 74 PhD students, of whom to date 15 were appointed as professor.
Areas of expertise
Methodology and Integrity: responsible conduct of research, questionable research practices and research misconduct