8th Annual Recipient of the Charles R. Katholi Distinguished Dissertation Award

2015 Charles R. Katholi Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr. Brandon George

Dr. Brandon George, this year’s recipient of the Charles R. Katholi Distinguished Dissertation Award joined UAB Biostatistics Doctoral Program in 2009 and graduated in December 2014. He came with a BS degree and MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University, St. Louis. During his tenure as a doctoral student at UAB, he was a T32 pre-doctoral fellow funded by NHLBI (under the leadership of Dr. Hemant Tiwari).  Brandon’s dissertation addresses the important issue of analyzing longitudinal imaging studies which have increased in popularity as clinical researchers seek to investigate how phenomena within the body change over time. The motivation of this research comes from the cardiac imaging data collected in the NHBLI-funded UAB SCCOR (Specialized Centers of Clinically Oriented Research) study under the leadership of Dr. Louis Dell’Italia. Analysis of data from these studies is complicated by correlation between repeated measures over time and different locations in the body. The statistical model discussed in Brandon’s dissertation allows longitudinal imaging studies to make greater use of the outcomes observed through imaging modalities. Instead of being reliant on summary methods to eliminate the correlation among observations, our model lets investigators take a multivariate approach and use outcomes from multiple locations in the image and quantify how they change over time. This allows for greater spatial resolution of anatomy and physiology in the analysis that could potentially lead to more powerful studies or more sensitive diagnoses and thus better patient outcomes. Some results of this dissertation may be found in a manuscript published in Statistics in Medicine (George, B., Aban, I. Selecting a Spatiotemporal Covariance Structure for Longitudinal Imaging Data." Statistics in Medicine 34(1), 145-161.)