My research broadly focuses on the usage of electronic health records for public health scientific discovery, development of novel statistical techniques, and genomic science.
Electronic health records are composed of a rich variety of data types which are collected routinely as part of clinical care. These data types, coupled with temporal information allow us to study in detail how disease risk changes over time.
Using EHR to study disease allows definitions of outcomes that would previously have been difficult to ascertain. Furthermore, with the advent of large human genomic databases such as the All of Us Research program in the United States and the UK Biobank, genomic data coupled with EHR provides a powerful data source for scientific discovery.
Public Health Discovery Using Biobanks
A central source of data in my research involves federated national biobanks such as the All of Us Research Program in the United States. This particular data source pools together electronic health records from contributing health systems from over 300 sites with the stated goal of amassing a dataset of over a million participants to further precision medicine. This dataset comprises data from EHR, wearables, surveys, and genetic information to provide researchers with multifaceted data for discovery. Pertaining to this work, I am affiliated with the Precision Health Informatics Section at the National Institutes of Health as a special volunteer.
Development of Novel Statistical Methodology
Risk of disease changes over time and as a function of independent factors such as demographic factors, lifestyle, genetics, and environment. A key component of my research involves development of time-to-event (a.k.a. survival analysis models) to model risk of disease over time.
Genetics comprise the blueprint of human life and often play a key role in the development of disease. Using whole-genome sequencing, my research involves the discovery of genetic markers and associations with diseases such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
Health Disparities Research
As defined by the US CDC, health disparities are inequitable differences in healthcare which are "directly related to the historical and current unequal distribution of social, political, economic, and environmental resources". Disparities in healthcare exacerbate disease and put an unequal burden of disease under-represented minorities. A focus of my research involves studying how clinical outcomes differ among traditionally under-represented populations.
For a full list of my publications, please see my CV above as well as my Google Scholar page.
HLTB30 Current Issues in Health, University of Toronto
HLTC27 Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Toronto
Outside of work, I enjoy running, listening to heavy metal, and
playing Magic the Gathering.
I am married to Dr. Shohini Bhattasali.