Seminar Series: Kuan Liu, PhD

Causal inference approaches for estimating time-varying treatment effect: an application in juvenile dermatomyositis therapeutics


Kuan Liu, PhD


Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto

Short Biography:
Kuan Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and the Biostatistics Division at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She completed her PhD in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto in 2021.Kuan’s research targets the development of novel statistical methodologies motivated by applications in a variety of disciplines such as personalized medicine, population health, and health services research. Her methodological interests include causal inference, Bayesian statistics, longitudinal data analysis, sensitivity analysis, and joint modelling.

Researchers are increasingly designing longitudinal observational studies using large administrative databases, enabling the assessment of rare outcomes or long-term treatment effects that are difficult to obtain from clinical trials owing to sample size, cost, and follow-up limitations. In a longitudinal setting, time-varying confounders are affected by past treatment. Thus, standard adjustment of time-varying confounding can result in blocking the effect of prior treatment on outcome that are mediated through time-varying confounders, leading to bias. Special statistical techniques are required for the causal estimation of time-varying treatment effects in the presence of time-varying confounding. In this talk, I will review four causal approaches for longitudinal data, including marginal structural models, g-computation, targeted maximum likelihood estimation, and Bayesian marginal structural models, and demonstrate these approaches using a clinical example.

Applied Bayesian statistics, Causal inference, Longitudinal data, Observational studies


Date: Friday, October 13th
Time: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: PHFM 3015 (Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine)