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Tianxi Cai, Sc.D., Harvard University – MIDAS Seminar Series

March 24, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Forum Hall, Palmer Commons


Tianxi Cai, Sc. D.

Professor of Biostatistics

T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Harvard University

Efficient Use of EHR for Biomedical Translational Research”

Abstract:  While clinical trials remain a critical source for studying disease risk, progression and treatment response, they have limitations including the generalizability of the study findings to the real world and the limited ability to test broader hypotheses. In recent years, due to the increasing adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and the linkage of EHR with specimen bio-repositories, large integrated EHR datasets now exist as a new source for translational research. These datasets open new opportunities for deriving real-word, data-driven prediction models of disease risk and progression as well as unbiased investigation of shared genetic etiology of multiple phenotypes. Yet, they also bring methodological challenges. For example, obtaining validated phenotype information, such as presence of a disease condition and treatment response, is a major bottleneck in EHR research, as it requires laborious medical record review. A valuable type of EHR data is narrative free-text data. Extracting accurate yet concise information from the narrative data via natural language processing is also challenging.  In this talk, Professor Cai discuss various statistical and informatics methods that illustrate both opportunities and challenges. These methods will be illustrated using EHR data from Partner’s Healthcare.


Bio: Dr. Cai’s current research interests are mainly in the area of biomarker evaluation; model selection and validation; prediction methods; personalized medicine in disease diagnosis, prognosis and treatment; statistical inference with high dimensional data; and survival analysis.

In addition to her methdological research, Dr. Cai also collaborates with the I2B2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) center on developing a scalable informatics framework that will bridge clinical research data and the vast data banks arising from basic science research in order to better understand the genetic bases of complex diseases.


For more information on MIDAS or the Seminar Series, please contact midas-contact@umich.edu. MIDAS gratefully acknowledges Northrop Grumman Corporation for its generous support of the MIDAS Seminar Series.


March 24, 2017
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Forum Hall, Palmer Commons
100 Washtenaw Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 United States
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