On-line Registration: https://www.uab.edu/shp/home/energetics/courses/causal-inference-shortcourse/third-registration
Held On: Mon 7/24/2017 - Fri 7/28/2017
Location: The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Executive Learning Center (ELC)
6th floor
1705 University Blvd, SPHB 640
Birmingham AL 35233
Lodging Options:
(within walking distance)
Residence Inn Birmingham
821 20th St S
Birmingham, AL 35205-2713
(205) 731-9595

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Birmingham
808 South 20th Street
Birmingham, AL  35205
(205) 933-9000
Course Directors:
DAllison
David Allison, PhD
University of Alabama
at Birmingham
  KFontaine
Kevin Fontaine, PhD
University of Alabama
at Birmingham

Overview & Agenda

The identification of causal relations is fundamental to a science of intervention and prevention. Obesity is a major problem for which much progress in understanding, treatment, and prevention remains to be made. Understanding which social and behavioral factors cause variations in adiposity and which other factors cause variations is vital to producing, evaluating, and selecting among intervention and prevention strategies as well as to understanding obesity’s root causes, requiring input from disciplines including statistics, economics, psychology, epidemiology, mathematics, philosophy, and in some cases behavioral or statistical genetics. The application of these techniques, however, does not involve routine well-known ‘cookbook’ approaches but requires understanding of underlying principles, so the investigator can tailor approaches to specific and varying situations. The nine course modules provide rigorous exposure to the key fundamental principles underlying a broad array of techniques and experience in applying those principles and techniques through guided discussion of real examples in obesity research.

Schedule of Events: [PDF file]

Mon 7/24/2017
8:00-8:15 Registration     
8:15- 8:45 Welcoming & Introductory remarks Allison & Fontaine  
8:45- 9:00 Attendee introductions  
Module 1: Introduction to Basic Language, Terms, and Concepts in Statistics and Design.
9:00-9:45 Intro to Statistical Inference (mainly frequentist, with a little Bayesian; covariate and propensity score adjustment, etc.) David Redden  
9:45-10:00 BREAK  
10:00-10:45 Intro to Energy Balance and Laws of Thermodynamics Diana Thomas  
10:45-11:30 Study Designs & Quantifying Effect and Association Size Christopher Haddock  
11:30-12:30 LUNCH  
Module 2: Conventional Observational Studies: Advantages, Limits, and Best Practices
12:30-1:15 Best Practices – Ethical Use, Hill’s Guidelines, Negative Controls, Meta-Analysis, Public Data Availability, etc. Douglas Weed  
1:15-1:45 Advantages Bertha Hidalgo  
1:45-2:15 Limits I – Theory: Bias and Confounding Dominick Alexander  
2:15- 2:30 BREAK  
2:30-3:30 Interactive Activity - Causal inference on BMI change and mortality in humans. Tapan Mehta & David Allison  
3:30-4:00 Limits II – Empirical: Evidence & Cases Studies of Confirmation and Non-Confirmation of Observational Study- Generated Hypotheses Andrew Brown  
4:00-5:00 Moderated Discussion and Wrap-up
6:30 Dinner – Short Course meet & greet (voluntary)
Tue 7/25/2017
Module 3: Randomized Controlled Experiments – I
9:00-9:10 Theory: Potential Outcomes David B Allison  
9:10-10:00 Methods for Randomization (including cluster randomization, stratified, choice of allocation ratios, adaptive, etc.) Scarlett Bellamy  
10:00-10:45 Power & Sample Size Calculation Charity Morgan  
10:45-11:15 Choice of Control Condition based on Hypothesis and Anticipated Claims Kevin Fontaine  
11:15-11:30 BREAK  
11:30-12:00 Controlling for Expectancy and Non-Specific Effects Peter Hendricks  
12:00-1:00 LUNCH  
Module 4: Randomized Controlled Experiments – II
1:00-1:45 Interactive Activity Mini-Debates:
“ITT vs On Study” and “Replication crisis vs Not”
Gary Cutter
George Howard
 
1:45-2:30 Practical Challenges: Measurement Error, Missing Data, Assumption Violations, etc. Diane Catellier  
2:30-2:45 BREAK  
2:45-3:45 Ethical Issues in RCEs Theodore K. Kyle  
3:45-4:15 Procedural Elements: Trial Registration, Reporting Guidelines Andrew Brown  
4:15-4:45 Large Simple Trials & Cluster Randomized Trials J Michael Oakes  
4:45-5:30 Moderated Discussion and Wrap-up  
6:30 Dinner – Short Course meet & greet (voluntary)
Wed 7/26/2017
Module 5: Quasi Experiments
9:00- 9:15 Quasi-experiments – Their Importance in Evaluating Changes That Occur Matthew Maciejewski  
9:15- 10:35 Design & Analysis Matthew Maciejewski
10:35-10:50 BREAK  
10:40-11:15 Ethical Issues Greg Pavela  
11:15-12:00 Real World Case Studies Nir Menachemi  
12:00-1:00 LUNCH  
Module 6: Natural Experiments
1:00-1:45 The Role of Natural Experiments in Public Health Decision Making Ed Gregg  
1:45-2:15 Interactive Activity – Pavela, Fontaine David Allison moderator  
2:15-3:00 Packet Randomized Experiments:  Adoption Example Greg Pavela  
3:00-3:45 Analysis Bisakha Sen  
3:45-4:00 BREAK  
4:00-4:45 Study Design and Practical Applications of Natural Experiments in Public Health Ed Gregg  
4:45-5:30 Moderated Discussion and Wrap-up  
6:30 Dinner – Short Course meet & greet (voluntary)
Thu 7/27/2017
Module 7: Genetically Informed Designs – Unmeasured Genotype Approaches
9:00-9:45 Co-Twin and Sibling Control Designs - Matt McGue PhD  
9:45-10:45 Structural Equation Modeling of Twin and Family Data to Assess Causal Effects. Michael Neale  
10:45-11:00 BREAK  
11:00-11:45 Study of Behavioral Phenotypes of Obesity in Children: Ethical Considerations Tanja Kral  
11:45-1:00 LUNCH  
Module 8: Genetically Informed Designs – Measured Genotype Approaches
1:00-1:30 Causal Inference from Mendelian Randomization Nicholas Timpson  
1:30-2:30 Interactive Activity – prepare for Friday roundtable David Allison & Kevin Fontaine  
2:30-3:15 Methodological issues in Testing for Gene by Environment or Gene by Behavior Interaction Ruth Loos PhD  
3:15-3:30 BREAK
3:30-4:15 Social, behavioral, and ethical issues Diane Tucker  
4:15-4:45 Real World Case Studies - Causal Inference and Counterfactuals in Obesity Research: Obesity and the Gut Microbiome. Andrew Heath  
4:45-5:30 Moderated Discussion and Wrap-up  
6:30 Dinner – Short Course meet & greet (voluntary)
Fri 7/28/2017
Module 9: Mediating and Moderating Variables
9:00-9:45 Conceptual Models (the mediator moderator distinction, environmental, behavioral, psychological, physiological, and molecular mediators and moderators) Francesca Filbey  
9:45-10:30 Testing in General Linear Models Amanda Fairchild  
10:30-10:45 BREAK  
10:45-11:30 Testing in Structural Equation Models Michael Neale  
11:30-12:00 Real Life Examples & Ethical Issues Amanda Fairchild  
12:00-1:00 LUNCH  
Module 10: Group Roundtable Preparation, Presentation & Discussion
1:00 - 3:00 Group Roundtable Preparation  
3:00-5:00 5 Roundtable Groups Presentations (10 minutes each) Followed by Discussion  
5:00-5:10 Closing Remarks David Allison & Kevin Fontaine  

Speakers

 

contact

Contact Information:

Logistics: Richard Sarver
Program Manager II, Office of Energetics
School of Health Professions
Associate Dean for Research & Science
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1705 University Boulevard, SHPB 675
Birmingham AL 35233
205.975.9169; rsarver@uab.edu
Fax 205.934.2412

We would like to
thank our sponsors
for their support:
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Office
of
Energetics

NIH Disclaimer:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Institutes of Health under Grant No. (R25HL124208). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.