27AM – Morphometric Brain Changes Associated with Treatment of Gliomas and Meningiomas

Status: Filled – Bhargav Earla
Intern: Bhargav Earla
Faculty Name: andrew-mcdonald
Primary Faculty Appointment: UAB
UAB/HA Department: Radiation Oncology
Campus Address: Hazelrig Salter Radiation Oncology Center
Telephone Number: (205) 996-5669
Email: ammcdonald@uabmc.edu or Click to Send E-Mail
For how many summers have you served as a preceptor: 3 or more
CCC Research Area: Cancer Control & Population Science
Number of hours per week that the preceptor will personally supervise or work with the intern: 4
Other faculty, staff, or graduate students who may help to supervise the intern:
1. Michael Soike
2. Donna Murdaugh
Title of Project: 27AM – Morphometric Brain Changes Associated with Treatment of Gliomas and Meningiomas
Project Description:

The specific aim of this project is to characterize the temporal changes of brain morphometry among survivors of glioma or meningioma, and associate these changes with therapeutic exposures. We hypothesize that patients who received radiation therapy will experience more rapid morphometric changes, defined as increasing brain age estimate, than patients who did not. Furthermore, the increase in brain age estimate will be positive associated with total radiation exposure.

This retrospective cohort study will include patients receiving care at UAB with a diagnosis of low grade glioma or meningioma who were without evidence of recurrence for at least 2 years from initial treatment and have pre- and post-treatment MRI data available for review. Demographic, disease, and treatment characteristics will be extracted from the electronic medical record. Brain morphometry will be characterized by the brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) method as well as grey matter thickness. Radiation exposure to the uninvolved brain will be characterized using Eclipse software. We will assess for relationship between radiation exposure and brain morphometry using multiple linear regression.

The CaRES student will participate in all aspects of this project, including contributing to study design, data collection, analysis, and drafting the study results. The study will take place within the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology.

Project Status: Will begin on or before the CaRES student’s start date
Location of Project: Birmingham, AL (UAB)
Proposed Start Date: May 3, 2021
Proposed End Date: August 27, 2021
Expected work schedule for intern: Flexible, intern can largely set his or her own schedule (as for students who are instructed how to proceed and are permitted to work independently with weekly guidance) and should contribute full-time effort.
Number of days that the student will be expected to come physically to UAB:
1 day per week (prior to start of the internship, gain appropriate waivers and approvals for the student to be on site)
Category of Project: Clinical (Patient Care) Research
Cancer topic: Brain
Does this project involve human subjects: Yes
Does this project involve animal subjects: No

Create database of demographic, disease, and treatment exposure variables.


Characterize brain morphometric changes using the BrainAGE method and record information within the study database.


Participate in the data analysis and draft study results.

Preceptor will provide intern with access to the following: Office or desk space, Computer and printer, Supplies needed to complete project, Equipment needed to complete project
Likelihood that intern will be included as an author on one or more publications related to this summer research project: Very likely
Areas in which the ideal candidates will have experience: Clinical Oncology, Computer Programming, Neurosciences, Scientific Writing Skills, Survivorship