Asiaee Approved for $1 Million for Study to Estimate Treatment Effects

Amir Asiaee, assistant professor of biostatistics, has been approved for a $1,059,943 funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for a methodology study on estimating treatment effects for specific patient subgroups. 

"Improving Heterogeneous Effect Estimation by Integration of Experimental and Observational Studies" is among the latest methodology studies that PCORI has funded to address gaps in comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) methods. These studies provide results that guide researchers in planning future studies and improve the strength and quality of evidence generated by CER.


With University of Minnesota's Jared Huling as co-principal investigator, Dr. Asiaee aims to combine data from both randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies to improve personalized treatment decisions. By developing new ways to analyze this data, the team hopes to improve the quality of evidence used to make treatment decisions, especially for patients with rare or unique responses to treatments. This could lead to more effective screening and better care delivery for patients. The methods will be tested using data from two large research projects, one focused on preventing childhood obesity and the other on the best aspirin dose for patients with heart disease.


“This study was selected for its potential to address a high-priority methodological gap in patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research,” said PCORI executive director Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH. “Improving methods for conducting CER helps ensure this research generates sound, trustworthy evidence to help patients and those who care for them become more empowered decision makers. We look forward to following the study’s progress and working with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to share its results.” 


The study was selected through a highly competitive review process in which patients, caregivers and other stakeholders joined scientists to evaluate the proposals. Dr. Asiaee's funding award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.   


PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress with a mission to fund patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research that provides patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information they need to make better informed health and healthcare decisions. 



Amir Asiaee (right) with intern LaShawnda Stevens, June 2023