Research IT & Security (Michal Kouril, PhD and Nicholas Hunt)
Research IT has expanded the IT infrastructure to accommodate the increasing demands by investigators for storage of data, hosting of databases and web based applications, and access to servers. Security has been tightened by moving servers into a more secure Research Network Environment. Regular internal and external security scans have been implemented; vulnerabilities that are identified are being promptly addressed. A disaster recovery plan has been formalized and is being implemented over the next year.
In cooperation with hospital Information Services, network connectivity has been increased to 10Gb to prepare for projects such as clinical Exome sequencing, which will generate 10s of TB of data that must be stored and processed in a short time. Additional examples of successful collaborations include research PACS publishing to increase the ability of investigators to access research images and eConsent management with user facing portals which improves the ease with which consent to participate in research studies can be obtained from potential subjects.
Network Approaches to Study Human Diseases (Jason Lu, PhD)
Jason Lu, PhD, focused on developing network-based approaches to study a variety of human diseases. He developed a network-based approach that combines proteomics experiments and computational predictions to discover the subspecies in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). If the subspecies that are responsible for the cardiovascular protective functions are successfully identified, they may serve as more accurate biomarkers to assess the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The expression level of these subspecies can also be elevated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Jason has also predicted the protein interaction networks in bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the human-Pseudomonas interaction networks. These networks are important in enabling network pharmacology where new antibiotic drug targets can be identified to treat Pseudomonas infection. His webserver has been linked by the comprehensive database Pseudomonas.
Data Warehousing & Software Development (Keith Marsolo, PhD)
The data warehousing group completed the implementation of a federated query tool for the Ohio Pediatric Asthma Repository (OPAR), a network made up of all Ohio children’s hospitals that is collecting data on asthma-related hospital admissions and corresponding treatment. This tool allows investigators in the network to run cohort identification and feasibility queries on their own center’s data as well as data from the entire network. In addition, the team continues to support the institutional research biorepository, finalizing functionality that will allow investigators at CCHMC to search for and request available biosamples from within the de-identified i2b2 warehouse.
The software group continues to support the quality improvement networks that are part of the Best Evidence for Advancing Child Health in Ohio Now (BEACON) collaborative, which focuses on improving outcomes in childhood obesity, children’s mental health and preterm births in Ohio. The group is completed development of patient registries for eosinophilic esophagitis and bone marrow transplant and the “drug dashboard” for kidney transplant that pulls together adherence data from electronic pill bottles, clinical data and pharmacogenomics information to support pre-clinic planning. Initial efforts have begun to integrate this dashboard in the EHR and disseminate it to other institutions.