Assessing causation by examining familial confounding: comprehensive methodological advances, software development and health translation

Vivienne Esser

Primary supervisor: Prof John Hopper
Co-supervisors: Dr Shuai Li, Dr Minh Bui

PhD description: Distinguishing causal relationships from non-causal associations that are due to confounding is of fundamental importance for health research. Current epidemiological approaches that assess causation are limited by assumptions that are often strict, restrictive and difficult to meet or test, limiting the conclusions that can be made. A novel, regression-based method for performing Inference about Causation from Examination of FAmiliaL CONfounding (ICE FALCON) based on family data has been developed, which allows for bi-directional causation between measured traits as well as familial confounding. This PhD aims to further develop ICE FALCON, both methodologically and to allow use by the wider research community.

Scholarship: Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship