The Rush Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core provides advanced biostatistics and bioinformatics resources to a wide range of clinical and population health researchers within the institution to enhance the capabilities of the research community at Rush.
We provide support in several areas of health research, including:
- Formulating scientific hypothesis
- Selecting sampling design
- Designing clinical studies and randomized trials
- Protocol development
- Managing data resources
Data services the core provides include:
- Creating data extracts from electronic medical records
- Developing data collection instruments through Web-based and stand-alone modules
- Developing clinical databases
- Designing and analysis of gene-based association studies
We also provide statistical analysis on a wide array of studies, including:
- Data extracted from medical records
- Cross-sectional and prospective study of population and clinical studies of health outcomes
- Assisting with interpreting statistical findings.
Additional resources we offer include:
- Performing power analysis and sample size calculations
- Preparing data analysis sections for grant applications
- Creating randomization schemes for the study
- Assisting in planning the data collection procedure
- Writing and reviewing statistical sections of manuscripts prior to publication
- Providing statistical education and mentorship for study design concepts and interpretation of study findings.
The core serves the research community at Rush by collaborating closely with population and clinical health researchers and serving as co-investigators on several NIH and foundation grants, including:
- CAPriCORN (a PCORI funded common infrastructure for the Chicago region)
- Center for Community Health Equity
- The RUMC research repository
- Development of cohort databases for the cancer center
- RedCAP administration
- Future work on precision medicine
We also provide biostatistical consulting to investigators who have already collected their data.
The core has built a state-of-the-art computing system in consultation with Rush IS/IT that can support research activities and large databases that can extract:
- Electronic medical records of patient data
- Electronic case report forms from RedCAP data collection system
- Biospecimen data
Survey instruments are available on demand to investigators through an onsite implementation of RedCAP.
The core maintains and uses the Research Private Cloud, an innovative set of infrastructure tools. The cloud hosts a MS SQL database storing research-related data and is planned to support virtual environments for researchers, and Hadoop-related tools for Big Data analyses.
The core also has a dedicated computing cluster for genetic, RNA-seq, and next-generation sequencing studies.
The core is funded by Rush institutional funds with an expectation that the core will be self-sufficient in the next few years. Members of the core are also supported by several NIH and foundation grants.
Core personnel are:
- Bala Hota, MD, MPH, chief research informatics officer; informatics lead, core
- Kumar Bharat Rajan, PhD, biostatistics lead, core
- Todd Beck, senior statistical analyst
- Yamin Wang, statistical analyst
- Bo Yu, Senior systems analyst
- Rolando Ramirez, developer and RedCAP administrator
- Ekta Kishen, epidemiologist and data analyst
- James Lochowitz, database architect