Ravi Varadhan, PhD
Dr. Ravi Varadhan is an Assistant Professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, with joint appointment in the Departments of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH). He is also a core faculty member in the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health (COAH) since 2004. He is a highly-trained mathematical modeler with a PhD in Environmental Engineering and another PhD in Biostatistics. His major areas of research expertise are (i) development and translation of statistical methodology for patient-centered outcomes research, (ii) development of modeling approaches for studying the etiology of geriatric frailty, and (iii) development of efficient computational algorithms and software for solving high-dimensional problems in statistical modeling. He is a co-Director for the Biostatistics and Epidemiology of Aging Training Program. He has received funding from the Agency for Healthcare research Quality (AHRQ) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop statistical methods for: evaluating the impact of interventions in the presence of competing risks; addressing heterogeneity of treatment effects; cross-design synthesis for estimating treatment effects in target groups not represented in trials; and benefit-harm assessment in systematic reviews. He has published numerous articles in engineering, environmental science, applied mathematics, statistics, epidemiology, gerontology, and biomedical journals. He has been invited to present his novel methods in patient-centered outcomes research at the biennial Symposia organized by the AHRQ in 2009 and 2011 (coming up in June). He is writing a chapter on how to address heterogeneity of treatment effects for AHRQ’s best practice manual for statistical methods in comparative effectiveness research.
As a Brookdale Fellow, Dr. Varadhan will be developing, testing, and applying a novel, cross-design synthetic approach that combines the strengths of experimental and observational designs. This approach integrates randomized controlled trial (RCT) evidence with that from observational designs to obtain evidence that is both valid and applicable to older adults not well-represented in the RCTs. He will apply the statistical methodology to estimate the efficacy of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for the prevention and treatment of heart failure in women 75 years or older. The proposed methods will help narrow the evidence gap for older adults by extending the evidence base provided by RCTs, under appropriate conditions. The methods can be of value in clinical decision-making and in coverage decisions on drugs, devices, and procedures applied to older adults in situations where direct evidence from RCTs is unavailable. His project will have an impact on the field of aging by providing innovative tools to understand which treatments are effective in particular subgroups of older adults for whom we currently have limited evidence.
Dr. Varadhan’s primary mentor is Jeremy D. Walston, M.D. and his secondary mentor is Constantine E. Frangakis, Ph.D.
Brookdale Leadership in Aging Fellow Class of 2011