Associate Professor Haitham Tuffaha - Can we assess value for money of clinical trials? 

Overview: Health research is essential to improve population health and inform decision making. However, research budgets are insufficient to fund all worthy research projects and funding organisations must therefore make decisions about the best way to allocate their resources. Consideration of the expected costs and benefits of research projects is fundamental to achieve efficient utilisation of research budgets and maximise returns on research investments. In this Seminar, A/Prof Haitham Tuffaha will explain how health economics principles can be used to set research priorities and to design efficient clinical trials.

Bio: Associate Professor Haitham Tuffaha is an NHMRC and Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for the Business and Economics of Health (CBEH). He leads the Health Technology Assessment and his research involves the economic evaluation of health interventions. He pioneers the application of Value of Information analysis in Australia as a novel approach to inform early reimbursement decisions and to design efficient and adaptive clinical trials that maximise return on research investment. 

He holds an MSc degree in Clinical Pharmacy (with Distinction) from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, an MBA degree from Wollongong University and a PhD in Health Economics from Griffith University. Before specialising in health economics, he practiced as oncology clinical pharmacy specialist and manager.

Associate Professor Tuffaha is the Chair of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s (COSA)-Epidemiology Group, the Co-Chair of Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA)-Research Prioritisation Group and the past Secretary of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)-Australian Chapter. He is an Associate Editor for Value in Health and an Editorial Board Member of PharmacoEconomics-Open Journal.


Dr Nathan Stevenson - Estimating age from the electrical activity of the cortex in preterm infants

Overview: In this talk, Nathan will discuss recent work on the analysis of EEG recordings from preterm infants. He will show that maturation of the EEG is clear, distinct and rapid during the last trimester and that it can be used to estimate age to within 2 weeks. He will also show that deviations from ‘normal’ maturational trajectories are associated with poor neurodevelopmental outcome. Finally, he will discuss what characteristics of the EEG the computer is using to form its estimate and how these characteristics differ from the traditional, visual interpretation of the EEG. The subsequent divergence between computerized and visual interpretation of the EEG paves the way for a new era of physiological signals analysis where automated methods outperform clinicians.

Bio: Nathan Stevenson is a biomedical engineer who complete his PhD at UQCCR in 2008 and is now at QIMR Berghofer (he now looks much older than his photograph, but still has the jumper). His main, and only, area of interest is the analysis of physiological signals from neonates and infants. The clinical aim of such analysis is to develop automated methods of summarizing the complex information apparent in these signals for clinicians; duplicating the role of the experienced neurophysiologist. The automation of this process provides the experience of a trained neurophysiologist, around the clock, to clinical settings that may not have such access. Automated, computer based analysis has the potential to be applied when long periods of data must be considered (a prognostic aid) or when the speed of a decision is crucial (a diagnostic aid).



About CCR Seminars

The UQ Centre of Clinical Research Seminars (CCR) are held fortnightly on Wednesdays from 12pm - 1pm (except during school holidays) currently on Zoom. The series features topics in multiple fields of research, presented by invited international, interstate and local researchers.