The Rheumatic Disease Research Informatics Core provides biomedical informatics expertise and infrastructure to the P30-supported Cincinnati Rheumatic Diseases Core Center (CRDCC) Research Base at Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation (CCRF) and collaborating centers. Research data management and bioinformatics analyses are essential components of rheumatology research programs at CCRF, especially as data streams from gene expression microarrays, flow cytometry and genotyping have increased. Investigators rely on easy, secure access to curated, accurate clinical and genomic data, as well as analysis tools. Access to informatics expertise through the Informatics Core enables the CRDCC Research Base to undertake large-scale, multi-institutional, data and processing-intensive research projects. Informatics Core staff contribute their own background and expertise, and they also facilitate access to the larger pool of informatics expertise at the institution, including the Division of Biomedical Informatics (BMI). The Informatics Core is the CRDCC Research Base’s gateway to state-of-the-art biomedical informatics support.
The principal functions of the Informatics Core are:
- Provide research data management expertise and tools for the CRDCC Research Base, including support for flow cytometry, gene expression and genetic microarray data and management, as well as design and implementation of clinical research data acquisition tools.
- Develop innovative, web-based informatics solutions and bioinformatics expertise to facilitate integrative analysis of genomic data, including gene expression microarrays and genome-wide SNP data. Enhance the GWADB (genome-wide association database), a custom-built web-based software application that has been at the center of genome-wide association studies for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) undertaken at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Continue to support analysis of JIA gene expression data using state-of-the-art tools.
- Design and implement web-based, user-friendly informatics tools to measure and assure high quality and efficiency of CRDCC services. Deploy user survey tools and monitoring tools that measure utilization of core services. Develop billing and scheduling tools that increase accuracy and transparency of CRDCC services.
The availability of the unique resource of the Informatics Core is essential to enabling definitive genomic and clinical studies necessary to understand and define childhood rheumatic diseases.