40SG – Development of an electronic health record based frailty classification for older adults with cancer

Status: Available
Faculty Name: smith-giri
Primary Faculty Appointment: UAB
UAB/HA Department: UAB School of Medicine
Campus Address: 1600 7th Ave S
Telephone Number: (205) 638-2120
Email: smithgiri@uabmc.edu or Click to Send E-Mail
For how many summers have you served as a preceptor: 0
CCC Research Area: Cancer Control & Population Science
Number of hours per week that the preceptor will personally supervise or work with the intern: 2
Other faculty, staff, or graduate students who may help to supervise the intern:
1. Deanna Clark dclark@peds.uab.edu
2. Grant Williams grwilliams@uabmc.edu
Title of Project: 40SG – Development of an electronic health record based frailty classification for older adults with cancer
Project Description:

Work from our group and others have shown that frailty predicts toxicities and survival among older adults with cancer. However, there is no universal consensus on the optimal score and most traditional frailty score and time/resource intensive leading to limited applicability. Using a large electronic health derived database (Flatiron Health database), this project aims to utilize routinely obtained clinical information (laboratory findings, diagnosis codes and vital signs) to define a frailty score which will then be validated in external cohorts.

Project Status: Will begin on or before the CaRES student’s start date
Location of Project: Birmingham, AL (UAB)
Proposed Start Date: May 31, 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:
0 – project will be fully virtual except for the required in-person checkpoint visits
Category of Project: Analytical/Statistical Research
Cancer topic: Multiple Cancer Sites
Does this project involve human subjects: Yes
Does this project involve animal subjects: No

At the beginning of project, the intern will be given access to the EHR database on a shared network drive. Using a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria, the first step is to identify a group of eligible study cohort for this study.


Once the eligibility cohort has been identified, the next steps would be to pull the relevant laboratory and diagnostic data available within the database. The selection of this data will be informed by a review relevant literature which will be conducted by the intern during this phase.


Using an iterative process of variable selection and elimination, this step identifies the group of variables that are theoretically linked to frailty (as in step 2) and that are significantly predictive of patient outcomes including progression free and overall survival.

Preceptor will provide intern with access to the following: database, statistical software available within the shared drive
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: Epidemiologic Methods, Literature Review Skills, SAS Programming, Statistics and Data Management advanced