Category Archives: News

Apply for Seed Funding for CRI Services!

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The Department of Pediatrics has released a Request for Applications for a new initiative to foster excellence in research scholarship. This initiative will provide seed funding for promising clinical and health outcomes research projects focused on the health of children and their families. In particular, the Department aims to promote the early career development of translational and clinical faculty researchers, with the goal of generating preliminary data for subsequent funding applications.

This seed funding will be available to support services from the Center for Research Informatics, such as data requests from the Clinical Research Data Warehouse, data analysis by the Bioinformatics Core, or application development.

The awards: four awards of up to $5000 each
Who is eligible: faculty, fellows, and residents with faculty mentors
How to apply: find the Request for Applications here and apply by October 15

CRI to play role in new pediatric data resource center

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As part of a newly announced five-year, $14.8 million NIH grant, the CRI will play a key role in building the Gabriella Miller Kids First pediatric data resource center. The center, a multi-institutional project headquartered at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will provide pediatric researchers with a much-needed way to work with large sets of genomic and clinical data related to childhood cancer in order to better predict and treat it.

Two UChicago data science groups, the CRI and the Center for Data Intensive Science (CDIS), will take part in the project under the leadership of CDIS Director Robert Grossman, PhD, and CRI Director Sam Volchenboum, MD, PhD. A team combining both groups’ expertise in building data commons will be responsible for designing and operating the technical foundations of the project: the software that will be used to process and share data within the center, including the integration of disparate data sources, coordination with third-party applications, and support for data analysis.

By leveraging our years of experience working with multi-institutional data networks and large biomedical datasets, through this project the CRI has the opportunity to make a major contribution toward ending childhood cancer. Read more about the Kids First center and UChicago’s role here.

 

UCM/Google partnership in the news

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The research collaboration between Google and University of Chicago Medicine was profiled this week in Becker’s Hospital Review, which called our partnership “a data-driven duo to watch.”

The article highlights how UCM will take advantage of the CRI’s Clinical Research Data Warehouse as a base for Google’s predictive models. CRI Director Sam Volchenboum explains why the CRDW is a particularly important resource for the Google project: “We’ve taken a very rigorous approach to our data warehouse that is not necessarily the norm. We’ve been able to take our clinical data and standardize it and clean it up in a way that makes it much more easy to analyze and to perform this type of machine learning.”

“Our digital trail leaves many clues, both subtle and overt, to our overall health and well-being.”

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In Wired, CRI Director Sam Volchenboum shares a thought-provoking essay on the potential of social networks like Facebook and Google to predict disease. As our daily lives generate more and more trackable data through social media, wearables, GPS, etc., algorithms could become better and better at recognizing patterns that could point to health conditions — but the potential benefits of this are balanced with significant risks. Read Sam’s take on it here.

UCM and CRI partner with Google to explore machine learning in healthcare

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Google has announced announced a new partnership with University of Chicago Medicine which will take advantage of the CRI’s experience and expertise in working with biomedical data and predictive algorithms.

The Google team will work with University researchers to apply advanced machine learning techniques to de-identified patient data. These models may detect patterns that enable doctors to predict future health events — meaning they could anticipate patients’ needs before they arise, improve outcomes, and save lives. The partnership will expand on work in this area that is already in progress at UCM, such as the eCART model for predicting cardiac arrest.

Read more about the partnership in the Chicago Tribune and on Google’s blog.

REDCap achieves security accreditation

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We are pleased to announce that the Center for Research Informatics’ REDCap system has achieved security accreditation by the BSD Risk Management Group. This means that REDCap meets the information security requirements defined in our cyber security policies and with the NIST Cyber Security Framework. Visit the BSD ISO website for additional information about the BSD Information Security Program at http://security.bsd.uchicago.edu. To learn about other systems currently undergoing the Security Assessment & Authorization process, please visit http://security.bsd.uchicago.edu/saa_review/. For further questions, please contact the BSD ISO team via e-mail at security@bsd.uchicago.edu.

CRI welcomes CTMS team leaders

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We’re happy to announce that Alex Lapson and Don Starkey have joined the Center for Research Informatics to lead our newest major project, the management and development of a BSD-wide clinical trials management system.

Alex Lapson, Senior Program Manager, has more than twenty years of project and program management experience with a range of high-profile clients. In coordination with Don and our Manager of Programming Brian Furner, Alex is responsible for the daily direction of the CTMS project.

Don Starkey, Lead Web Applications Developer, is the technical lead for the project. Bringing more than twenty years of experience in programming, software architecture, and application development, he will design our software solution and guide a team of developers to bring this project to fruition.

Welcome, Alex and Don!

CRI to lead development of new BSD-wide clinical trials management system

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Following a competitive proposal process, the Center for Research Informatics has been selected to lead the development of an enterprise clinical trials management system to be used for clinical research efforts across the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division. The project was officially launched last week at a meeting led by Dean Kenneth Polonsky and attended by the Advisory Group for the project, a broad group of information technology leaders from across the University.

Over the coming months, the CRI will lead the process of designing and building a new system and integrating it with the BSD information systems already in place. We are now building our team for this project – see the job opening for a Senior Program Manager here. As the development phase is completed, this team will lead a new branch of the CRI dedicated to maintaining the system and supporting BSD clinical informatics as a whole.

The CRI is excited to be taking on this ambitious, high-impact project and we look forward to keeping you updated as our team grows and work on the system progresses.