Causal Mediation Analysis

A 2-Day Seminar Taught by Tyler VanderWeele, Ph.D.

Read reviews of this course

To see a sample of the course materials, click here.

This seminar will focus on some of the recent developments in causal mediation analysis and will provide practical tools to implement those techniques. Mediation analysis deals with the mechanisms and pathways by which causal effects operate. The course will discuss the relationship between traditional methods for mediation in the biomedical and social sciences and new methods of causal inference for dichotomous, continuous, and time-to-event outcomes.

We will also consider when standard approaches to mediation analysis are valid and when they are not valid. These approaches will be extended to more complex settings. The no-confounding assumptions needed for these techniques will be discussed in detail. SAS, SPSS and Stata macros to implement mediation methods will be demonstrated and distributed to course participants.

Other topics include the use and implementation of sensitivity analysis (to assess how sensitive conclusions are to violations of assumptions) and extensions to multiple mediators.


In all cases, methods will be illustrated using software, with SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R examples and syntax. This is a hands-on course with at least one hour each day devoted to carefully structured and supervised assignments. 

To do the exercises, you will need to bring your own laptop computer with a recent version of SAS or Stata or SPSS or R. SAS and Stata will be supported by the instructor. Macros in SPSS and R will also be accessible, but SPSS and R will not be directly supported by the instructor.

Who should attend?

Course prerequisites: Familiarity with linear and logistic regression. Some knowledge of counterfactual or potential outcomes notation is helpful, but not necessary.


The class will meet from 9 am to 5 pm each day with a 1-hour lunch break at Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA, 02199.

Participants receive a bound manual containing detailed lecture notes (with equations and graphics), examples of computer printout, and many other useful features. This book frees participants from the distracting task of note taking.

Registration and lodging

The fee of $995.00 includes all seminar materials. The early registration fee of $895.00 is available until May 14.

Refund Policy

If you cancel your registration at least two weeks before the course is scheduled to begin, you are entitled to a full refund (minus a processing fee of $50). 

Lodging Reservation Instructions

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA, 02199, where the seminar takes place, at a special rate of $289 per night. In order to guarantee rate and availability, make your reservations by calling Starwood Reservations at 1-888-625-4988 or 1-617-236-2000, giving the hotel name (Sheraton Boston Hotel), and the group name (Statistical Horizons LLC) no later than May 13, 2019.


1. Concepts and methods for mediation
2. Sensitivity analysis
3. Mediation with time-to-event outcome
4. Multiple mediators
5. Surrogate outcomes
6. A unification of mediation and interaction


“Tyler does a fantastic job at discussing the theoretical foundation for causal inference methods for mediation. Overall, the course provides useful resources, including relevant macros that we can use in our own analyses, and gives us the opportunity to get our feet wet with these analyses in a setting where we can get direct feedback from a leading expert in this field.”
  Yasmmyn Salinas, Yale University

“I absolutely loved this course. I attended to help me think through some challenges in my work with mediation analyses, and the various modules of this course were absolutely helpful. Dr. VanderWeele teaches a well-thought out and very well-structured overview of mediation as it applies to many research questions today. He presents many applications and different approaches throughout. More importantly, this course is very well referenced! I am looking forward to continuing to tackle rigorous research questions and using the course materials as a guide.”
  Hoda Abdel Magid, University of California, San Francisco

“Awesome course!”
  Brandon Westover, Massachusetts General Hospital 

“The course was very informative and comprehensive. It was a great course even for those who had limited prior knowledge on causal inference. This course has motivated me to use some of the techniques in my future studies.”
  Yosuke Inoue, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

“I came to this course having just a very general idea of what causal mediation is, and I am leaving with a very clear idea not only of what it is but also about how to conduct this type of analysis, when it is needed and appropriate, and how to deal with some of the complications that might arise. Dr. VanderWeele has an amazing ability of taking a fairly complicated topic and delivering it in a very comprehensive way.”
  Ana María del Río González, The George Washington University 

“Professor VanderWeele is a knowledgeable, fantastic, and patient instructor. This workshop was very informative and helpful for those who are interested in doing both simple and complex causal mediation analysis. Professor VanderWeele clearly is an expert in the field; he did an excellent job of explaining course material in depth. Highly recommend the course!”
  Nina Afshar, Cancer Council Victoria

“The course went through the theory of mediation analysis in detail. One learns that even if we end up using product method, there is actually very strong and thorough reasoning behind it. The expansion to more complicated scenarios makes one think more carefully about the work – does my project fall into one of the complexity? The course is really helpful to understand and use mediation analysis.”
  Huiqi Li, University of Gothenburg

“I really enjoyed the causal mediation analysis course with VanderWeele. The methods taught were very current and he was very helpful and attentive to everyone’s questions.”
  Joanna Bryan, Weill Cornell Medicine 

“Dr. VanderWeele gave a well-organized presentation and explained the concept with some practical examples.”
  Charlotte Tu, Arbor Research Collaborative for Health

“Tyler is a very knowledgeable epidemiologist who has developed the modern methods to deal with intermediate variables. I learned a lot about the decomposition of mediation and the approaches that exist according to the specific objectives and study designs.”
  Victor Cardenas, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

“Excellent course to attend. Tyler VanderWeele is a great teacher. He made a lot of difficult concepts easier to understand. Would strongly recommend to take this course after you’ve attended Andrew Hayes’s course on mediation with some experience in mediation analysis. Overall great course with basic and advanced materials.”
  Ashutosh Tamhane, University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Excellent overview of causal mediation. Precisely the level of detail I was looking for as someone who designs studies/trials but does not do the analysis myself (anymore). Tyler was a very clear lecturer who was able to answer questions that arose during the lecture and also made himself available for more extensive direction during breaks.”
  Natalie Bello, Columbia University

“This is a great course for anyone interested in causal analysis. The instructor is a leader in the field, slides and explanations are easy to understand, statistical macros are very useful. Thank you!”
  Umedjon Ibragimov, Emory University