At the 2016 Advances in Neuroblastoma Research meeting, CRI Director Sam Volchenboum presented a demo of the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) Data Commons. The Data Commons, built by a UChicago team including the Center for Research Informatics and Center for Data Intensive Science, brings together phenotypic information and genomic data related to neuroblastoma. Researchers can perform complex cohort discovery, then conduct genomic analysis in a secure, high-performance environment. To learn more about how the Data Commons works, watch Sam’s demo above.
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The University of Chicago has publicly launched the National Cancer Institute’s Genomic Data Commons, developed by Chief Research Informatics Officer Bob Grossman. Representing two years of work by Dr. Grossman’s Center for Data Intensive Science and the CRI’s Bioinformatics Core, the GDC brings together genomic and clinical cancer data from multiple sources on a unified platform. Data that was formerly available only piecemeal is now centralized and standardized, making large datasets for cancer research far more accessible to scientists. The GDC is not only an unprecedentedly large repository of this data, it is also linked to tools for analysis and data sharing. Read more about the GDC here.
Vice President Joe Biden announced the GDC’s launch as part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. By democratizing access to data and analysis tools and making it easier for researchers to collaborate, the GDC will contribute significantly to this effort to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. The CRI is proud to have contributed bioinformatics expertise and resources to this important effort. Learn more about our contribution here.
In a recent paper published in JAMA, Sachin H. Jain and coauthors looking at ways to improve health care delivery for high-risk older patients discussed Dr. David Meltzer’s Comprehensive Care Program (CCP) as a promising way to increase continuity of care and improve outcomes for these patients whose needs, Jain writes in an article for Forbes, “are part medical, part social.”
The CCP study, for which the CRI built the technological infrastructure, pairs patients with a hospitalist who sees them both in the hospital and during outpatient follow-up visits. Jain concludes, “Ultimately, what is most exciting about the CCP and similar programs is the willingness to redesign traditional roles and models of care.”
The CRI’s free REDCap resource has revolutionized data capture for University researchers, with tools for building online surveys and databases, running reports, exporting data, and more. Read about how it changed one Professor of Surgery’s research, via our partner the Institute for Translational Medicine.
CRI Director Sam Volchenboum is one of two faculty directors for the new Graham School degree in biomedical informatics. Check out this interview with Sam for more about the program’s mission and why more formal education in biomedical informatics can improve both research and patient care.
The CRI has completed an upgrade of our Isilon storage, expanding our data storage capacity by 53 percent to a total of 1.83 petabytes. In addition to allowing us to make affordable labshare storage available for more BSD researchers, the upgrade will improve performance and reliability for our users.
How can doctors predict — and thus help prevent — when a patient is at increased risk of cardiac arrest while in the hospital? Does emergency room crowding affect care of patients on the hospital floor? What previously unknown links exist between weather events, staffing, patients’ lab values, outcomes, and other data, and how can this information be used to improve care?
The CRDW is an example of the kind of large, well-curated dataset that can make this advanced analysis possible. To learn more about how big data is making hospitals safer, read the interview with our director Sam Volchenboum in the Washington Post.
We are happy to announce that CRI Director Sam Volchenboum has been elected the next Chair of the Genomics and Translational Bioinformatics Working Group of the American Medical Informatics Association. This working group is dedicated to facilitating communication and collaboration between scientists to advance translational research and clinical care through the use of genomics data. Sam will lead the group in initiatives to increase data sharing, promote genomics data standards and interoperability, develop educational opportunities for clinicians, and more. Congratulations to Sam for this honor!
Check out this interview with our director, Sam Volchenboum, MD, PhD, about how large sets of patient data (like that available in the CRDW) can be used to streamline care, empower patients, and improve healthcare outcomes.