Rush Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core

Rush Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core

Mission Statement

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.


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 the following:

  • 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.

Services offered

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. 

Design Services:

  • Formulating scientific hypothesis
  • Selecting sampling design
  • Designing clinical studies and randomized trials
  • Managing data resources
  • Survey design
  • Grant and manuscript development CAPriCORN and Core Project Design Studio

Data Services:

  • Assisting in planning the data collection procedure
  • Creating data extracts from electronic medical records
  • Developing data collection instruments through Web-based and stand-alone modules
  • Developing and managing clinical databases
  • Integration with EHR user interface to enhance data collection
  • Preparing data analysis sections for grant applications and manuscripts
  • Advanced analytics capabilities including Natural Language Processing


Statistical Services:

  • Data extracted from medical records
  • Providing statistical education and mentorship for study design concepts
  • Performing analyses such as: power, descriptive, and regression
  • Assisting with interpreting statistical findings.
  • Writing and reviewing statistical sections of grants and manuscripts

Examples of ongoing projects and initiatives are included below.

Our team

Core personnel (in alphabetical order by last name) are:

  • Darpan Amin, Cloud Based and Advanced Analytics
  • Todd Beck, Senior Statistical Analyst
  • Pankaja Desai, PhD, Director of Operations
  • Casey Frankenberger, PhD, Chief Research Informatics Officer 
  • Bala Hota, MD, Chief Analytics Officer
  • Ekta Kishen, Epidemiologist and Data Analyst
  • Aziz Lalani, Database Architect
  • John O’Toole, Data Governance
  • Colleen Plunkett, Administrator
  • Rolando Ramirez, Developer and RedCAP Administrator
  • Ethan Ritz, Statistical Analyst
  • Carlos Santos, MD, Medical Director
  • Bo Yu, Senior Systems Analyst
  • Yanyu Zhang, Statistical Analyst


See this list for service pricing.

Core funding

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.

Service Request

Data extraction, statistical analyses, and study and survey instrument design requests can be submitted through the following link:

CAPriCORN at Rush Variable Names - provides a description of variables with available data. Select appropriate variables to meet the needs of your data request.

For questions regarding Core services please contact Colleen Plunkett at

Core Citation

If Core service use/ resource utilization is funded, please specify name of funder and associated grant number.  
“This project/ research/ initiative was supported by [insert name of funder], grant number: [insert grant number].  The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”
If funded by Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM),
“This project was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through Grant Number 5UL1TR002389-02 that funds the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”
If funded by All of Us/ Illinois Precision Medicine Consortium (IPMC),
“This project was supported by the Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant number:  3UG3OD023189-01S1, which provides funding for the Illinois Precision Medicine Consortium (IPMC).  The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”
If funded by CAPriCORN,
“This project was supported by the Person Centered Research Foundation, grant number:  [waiting to receive number], which is the current funder for CAPriCORN.”
If Core service use/ resource utilization is not funded, please indicate the following:
“We thank/ acknowledge the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core at Rush University for their contribution on this project/ research/ initiative.”

Please remember to follow NIH Public Access Policy: and submit to PubMed Central.