This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) research addresses next-generation therapeutic optimization, which involves constructing quantitative models of disease progression, and optimizing a particular set of therapies. The intellectual merit of this proposal focuses on three broad areas in end-stage liver disease, one of the leading killers in the United States, but the research applies to other diseases as well. The first broad area addresses issues that arise in therapeutic optimization that are uncommon in traditional operations research applications, and describes methods to address three of these. The second broad area describes how models that consider the patient's perspective can be used to address policy questions. The third broad area, perhaps the most ambitious, considers liver allocation mechanisms that integrate the patient's and societal perspectives.
The broader impacts of the proposed work will be felt directly by thousands of end-stage liver disease patients, and indirectly by millions more through significant improvements in the field of therapeutic optimization. The educational plan will directly impact four groups: medical researchers, primarily MDs; PhD students who apply state-of-the-art operations research techniques to complex and realistic medical problems; undergraduate students and researchers; and high school students. The research and educational plans are well integrated, and progress in one will aid the other.