Core D: Informatics Core
To optimally and efficiently support clinical and translational research, one must go beyond gathering data from researchers, and utilize the tools and expertise of modern informatics. The spectrum of needs, from those of a basic scientist to those of an outcomes-based clinical researcher requires a robust architecture of software, hardware, and information technology professionals to develop and maintain these tools. The cost of equipment, the rapid pace of technology development and the specialized expertise required to properly manage the informatics needs of the SPORE are not possible without high quality and efficient informatics services. It is therefore critical that this resource be well supported and integrated into the research mission of UPCI and the particular needs of the SPORE. The Informatics Core of the SPORE is composed of the following integrated services:
- Clinical Trials Management Application (CTMA) – supports all clinical trials of the SPORE and UPCI with integration to the Cancer Registry, Tissue Banking Information Systems and Organ Specific Databases.
- Tissue Banking Information System – supporting pathologic annotation and inventory control of the biospecimen (tissue, blood, serum and body fluids) requests of UPCI researchers
- Registry Information Services – supporting all of the clinical and outcomes annotation of patients in clinical trials and who contribute their cancer tissues to the tissue bank
- Honest Broker Services – an important component for HIPAA compliant research information services
- Storage, Archival and Network Services – support robust network and storage solution for tissue banking, imaging, genomic and proteomic data archiving.
Three tier backup services (on-line, near-line & remote) are provided.
- caBIG integration and data sharing – supporting caBIG tissue bank tools support,
- caArray for genomic data and
- a NCI caBIG compliant data sharing plan in coordination for all projects and cores of the SPORE.
The Skin Cancer SPORE will be increasingly reliant on the provision of robust research information services, to more effectively support the translation of innovation from the laboratory to the bedside and to utilize critical clinical and outcomes data in the clinic to guide discovery at the bench. Dr. Becich, leader of this core, is also the Biomedical Informatics Core leader for the newly funded Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh as well as the Cancer Bioinformatics Services of the UPCI’s Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG). This additional level of integration with NIH Roadmap Initiatives and the UPCI is a key strength of the proposed Informatics Core D of the Skin Cancer SPORE.