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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Washington: Faculty Wins $2.7 Million NIH Grant to Develop Statistical Tools to Draw Out Trustworthy Health Information from EHRs

Dr. Marco Carone, an assistant professor of biostatistics and the Norman Breslow Endowed Faculty Fellow at the University of Washington School of Public Health, recently received a nearly $2.7 million research project grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop novel statistical tools to more effectively describe the health effects, both intended and unintended, of common therapies using data from electronic health records (EHRs).

“EHRs represent a largely untapped treasure trove of information on health effects that are otherwise very difficult – and sometimes impossible – to capture,” Dr. Carone says. “In view of the shear number of individuals included in EHR datasets, they are ideal, for example, to study rare but possibly important adverse health events that may be missed in clinical trials.”

In this project, Dr. Carone and a multidisciplinary team with expertise in biostatistics, health informatics and pharmaco-epidemiology will develop novel techniques for leveraging machine learning tools to make robust, well-calibrated inference on treatment effects using data from EHRs. They will also develop efficient online learning techniques for use with data collected on an ongoing basis (e.g., weekly reporting of safety events). Finally, the team will develop statistical methods for using prior information (e.g., demographic, epidemiologic or pharmacodynamics knowledge) to make inference in the context of rare outcomes, a notoriously difficult statistical problem at the heart of pharmacological safety surveillance.

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