Although the CGIBD does not have a 'clinical core', the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core serves a similar purpose. The CGIBD has had a statistical core since the center was established in 1985, but the name of the core, the directors and the services have evolved over time as the field has matured and the needs of members have changed. The core assists with the collection, analysis and integration of biological and epidemiological data using techniques of computer science and statistics. The core provides assistance with database implementation and maintenance, web applications, validated and secure data capture, quality control, data analysis, and statistical analysis. We offer full collaboration on sound statistical study design, study process engineering, data model development, system design and implementation. This leads to secure and accurate data capture and management, linking of various data types and sources, and data extraction and reporting for analytics. The Core provides an interface between basic scientists and informatics specialists to support translational research. Importantly, the core provides essential services to the large group of clinical epidemiologists who are members of our center. The Core is co-directed by Kristen Anton who is the Director of Bioinformatics at UNC. She has developed and maintained data capture, management and integration systems for clinical research registries, clinical trials and prevention studies, as well as genomics and proteomics projects associated with epidemiological studies, for more than twenty years. Robert Sandler serves as the other co-director and he brings expertise in study design and analysis for clinical and epidemiological studies. The Core has a biostatistician, epidemiologist, and programmers. The core offers: consultation, informatics and data management services, programming, statistical analysis and training and education. The infrastructure created by this core has been leveraged by the CGIBD which is now the data management center for the CCFA Clinical Alliance, SHARE (Sinai-Helmsley Alliance for Research Excellence), and CCFA Partners (an internet cohort of 12,000 IBD patients). Any new CGIBD study may take advantage of the infrastructure, software tools and informatics expertise already in place in the Core, eliminating the need for each study to budget for hardware, software licenses and personnel expert in the necessary areas of system development and data management.
Conducting high quality clinical translational and epidemiological research requires a sophisticated bioinformatics platform to collect, store and analyze the data. Investigators need ready access to consultation in study design, data management and biostatistics. The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics core has the personnel and expertise to enhance the quality and the integrity of research conducted by CGIBD members.
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