The School of Public Health received a $1.3 million grant from the National Library of Medicine to create methods and software for analyzing data from multiple studies involving the same health topic. The project is led by Professor Haitao Chu and will create tools to aid medical researchers and decision-makers in understanding the benefits and risks of different diagnostic or treatment options.
Co-investigators on the grant are Professor James Hodges and former PhD student, and now, Assistant Professor Lifeng Lin (PhD ‘17) at Florida State University.
Chu will work with his collaborators and students to develop innovative meta-analysis methods, which will combine and contrast results from multiple studies to reduce bias and improve research efficiency compared to individual studies. Meta-analysis is also used to identify patterns and sources of disagreement among studies.
The specific goals of the project are to:
- Quantify and adjust for publication bias in multivariate settings;
- Simultaneously compare multiple diagnostic tests;
- Make causal inferences accounting for post-randomization variables;
- Develop corresponding, free and easy-to-use software.
“The methods and software will improve comparative effectiveness research and public health by advancing data analysis,” says Chu. “As a result, it will facilitate prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of major illnesses, including cancer as well as cardiovascular and infectious diseases.”
The project is expected to be completed by 2023 and results will be shared in peer-reviewed journals, seminars, and conference presentations and short courses.