University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Lung Cancer SPORE

Core D: Bioinformatics/Biostatistics

Brenda Kurland, PhD, Co-Leader
Vanathi Gopalakrishnan, PhD, Co-Leader

This Core brings together biostatisticians and bioinformaticians who are experienced in the scientific areas covered by the SPORE and who are already close collaborators with SPORE lead investigators.

The Specific Aims of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core are:

  1. To contribute statistical expertise to the design and perform the analysis of data from in vitro and in vivo experiments and clinical trials proposed in the SPORE, in developmental research projects, and by career trainees funded by this SPORE;
  2. To work with the Project and Core investigators, including the Clinical Core and Tissue and Blood Bank Core, to ensure that data collection and database development are appropriate for the requisite statistical analyses while ensuring patient confidentiality and the integrity of all SPORE tissue banks; and to provide PLuSS and other SPORE data for approved research by local researchers and collaborators in other institutions;
  3. To collaborate with investigators in writing and preparing progress reports, abstracts, manuscripts, and presentations, and
  4. To conduct methodological research motivated by the challenges of SPORE research.

To achieve these aims, Core members are fully integrated into the research teams for each study. They maintain frequent communication both within the Core and with other SPORE researchers. The projects of the University of Pittsburgh Lung SPORE are designed to share information and resources. For example, several projects will make use of the same sets of subjects (retrospective UPCI lung cancer patients and PLuSS participants). In addition, the Pittsburgh SPORE has proposed to share data and patient samples with the UCLA Jonnson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Texas - Southwestern. The Core will ensure that resources are used efficiently, and each project builds on the information gained from other Pittsburgh SPORE projects and other institutions. Core D will facilitate the smooth transfer of techniques, data, and patient tissues among projects and institutions, while ensuring patient confidentiality.

Core researchers have a track record of methodological contributions, considerable experience in the design and analysis of both laboratory and clinical data, and expertise in biomarker discovery, evaluation, validation and disease prediction modeling to facilitate translation of the biomarker-based projects. Core members will provide integrated support for the design and analysis of SPORE major projects and pilot projects.