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IT Matters event October 25

By News

The next IT Matters speaker series will feature a team of UChicago faculty studying the Sociome—the social, environmental, behavioral, and psychological factors play a critical role in human health. In contrast to genomic and clinical data, sociomic factors have not been comprehensively collected, codified, and quantified for the large-scale data mining and analysis techniques transforming modern healthcare. The researchers are working to leverage data-driven insights on these factors to better predict and treat health outcomes.

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Yoav Gilad, PhD, Appointed Dean for Biomedical and Health Informatics

By News

Yoav Gilad, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Vice Chair for Research and Chief of the Section of Genetic Medicine, has been appointed as Dean for Biomedical and Health Informatics in the Biological Science Division effective July 1, 2021.  The creation of this new position by Dean Kenneth Polonsky recognizes the essential contributions that data, information, and computer sciences make in the  understanding of biology, medicine and the enhanced delivery of health care services.

Working closely with group leaders in the Center for Research Informatics (CRI) and with faculty throughout the BSD and University, Dr. Gilad will focus initially on the development of a plan to update and repurpose (as necessary) the CRI as a state-of-the-art research-informatics support facility whose staff and resources are strategically focused to support our division’s highest priorities.

Read more about Dr. Gilad’s new role here.

Dipti Ranganathan departs for new UChicago role

By News

Executive Director Dipti Ranganathan will now serve as the University of Chicago’s first Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). As CPO, Dipti will collaborate with University stakeholders to build and manage a privacy and data governance program, addressing administrative and research data. A national search for Dipti’s permanent successor as CRI Director will be launched soon, engaging multiple stakeholders across the Division. On an interim basis, CRI will be overseen by Julie Johnson, Associate Director of Clinical Research Informatics.

Images Now Available in CRI COVID Data Mart

By News

In collaboration with the Human Imaging Research Office (HIRO), the CRI is for the first time making images available in our COVID-19 limited data mart. In addition to the structured data already in this data mart, which includes patient demographics, encounters, diagnoses, labs, medications, flow sheets, and procedures, researchers will now have access to HIRO imaging data. Chest radiographs are currently available, and chest CT scans will be added soon. These images are in the DICOM format, and access requires IRB approval for use of the limited data mart.

More information about these images is available in our Medical Imaging Tip Sheet. If you have any questions, please reach out to Julie Johnson at or join us for online office hours.

CRI Seminar Series returns for 2019-2020

By News

The CRI’s annual series of free training sessions in informatics research tools and techniques returns for the 2019-2020 academic year with a schedule focused around the popular topics of REDCap, high performance computing (HPC), and clinical data analytics. Julissa Acevedo will teach her annual trio of sessions in various aspects of REDCap in November, February, and April, beginning with an introduction to the basics. The CRI’s Manager of Scientific Computing Mike Jarsulic will offer an overview of CRI computing infrastructure in January and an HPC tutorial to coincide with a planned upgrade in May. In March, Tomasz Oliwa, PhD, and Brian Furner will present a session in how to enhance clinical data analytics with the technique of natural language processing.

View the schedule here, and make sure to sign up for the email list to be notified when seminars are available for registration!

Welcome Dipti

By News

The CRI welcomes our new director, Dipti Ranganathan.

In addition to leading our operations and strategic planning, Dipti also serves as Assistant Dean for Academic & Administrative Information Systems for the Biological Sciences Division (BSD), leading the implementation of new technology solutions to improve strategic decision-making and operational efficiency. She joined the BSD from University of Texas Southwestern, where she led strategic initiatives including technology support for clinical research, research administration, and academic and educational technology. Dipti has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master’s degree in Operations Research also from Berkeley, and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. She is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Association for American Medical Colleges, Group on Information Resources. 

Our former director, Dr. Sam Volchenboum, has been named Dean for Master’s Education in the BSD. He will now lead efforts to develop Master’s education programs in the BSD, beginning with a program in health sciences informatics. The CRI will continue to work with Sam as a research partner.

CRI experts to present tutorial at AMIA 2019 Informatics Summit

By News

The CRI’s Jorge Andrade, PhD, and Sam Volchenboum, MD, PhD, will join colleagues from Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Columbia University to present a tutorial session at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2019 Informatics Summit this March. 

The tutorial, titled “A Bioinformatics Tutorial for Analyzing Whole Exome Sequencing: Unstructured Data to Variant Interpretation,” will be attended by clinicians, biologists, biomedical researchers, and students who are using or planning to use high-throughput genomics data in their research. It will provide an opportunity to run whole exome sequencing (WES) bioinformatics pipelines for processing raw fastq files into variant call files via the CRI’s high performance computing cluster, as well as hands-on examples for interpreting WES variant data using publicly-available resources.

We are looking forward to joining our colleagues from other institutions and combining our expertise in bioinformatics analysis and high performance computing to offer a valuable experience to AMIA attendees.

CRI’s REDCap expert invited to teach for Vanderbilt’s REDCapU

By News, REDCap

CRI Business Systems Analyst and resident REDCap expert Julissa Acevedo was recently invited to present for Vanderbilt University’s REDCapU, an online teaching tool to educate REDCap administrators so that they can better support their end users. Julissa presented on the topic of REDCap surveys for a webinar that was attended by 157 registrants from 120 institutions across 19 countries.

Julissa shares her deep knowledge of REDCap with researchers here through the CRI Seminar Series, training materials, and personal consultations.

In new partnership with NCI and Leidos Biomedical, CRI will add radiology images to neuroblastoma data commons

By News

The CRI is expanding our Pediatric Cancer Data Commons (PCDC) with a new pilot project in partnership with Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.

As part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s DI-Cubed data integration project, we are using our expertise in data harmonization to develop a process to integrate medical imaging resources into the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) Data Commons. This proof-of-concept study will focus on MIBG scans, an important imaging modality for neuroblastoma patients.

The DI-cubed Project is an effort to convert data from various clinical studies into a standardized format, and to demonstrate how this standardization can enable data from multiple studies to be combined, creating larger and more useful cohort sizes and making it possible to share data more easily between institutions. In addition to standardizing data from different sources, the project will bring together data from different domains, such as clinical data, imaging data, and genomic data. We are proud to contribute to this important national initiative. Read more about this project here.