Research Translation Core

The Data Management and Modeling Core (Core D) is responsible for the efficient collection, cleaning and management of biomedical and environmental data compiled and analyzed across PROTECT. Core D provides programming expertise to develop customized Internet-based user interfaces that allow efficient and accurate data entry and analysis. Core D enables effective dissemination of Center results and supports modeling and data analysis tools developed or purchased to meet the needs of the projects. Research translation activities are a key component for Core D as they engage with other Projects and Cores, work with NIH and software companies, and contribute to the emerging field of Big Data across the medical, environmental and public health fields.

Over the past year and a half, Core D has given presentations on the design and implementation of the PROTECT database. In February of 2014, Core D led an NIEHS SRP CLU-in webinar:  “Application of the PROTECT Data Management System to Assess Relationships Between Environmental Chemical Exposure and Population Birth Outcomes in Northern Puerto Rico”. In this presentation, Core D described the data management system being developed by PROTECT to integrate, manage, analyze, and relate environmental, demographic, exposure biomarkers, and birth outcome data. The discussion was centered on the applicability of the system, which has been built using Earthsoft’s EQuIS® as a foundation. This database will be used to assess the extent of groundwater and tap water contamination, identify other modes of exposure, define patterns in biomarkers of exposure and birth outcomes from an ongoing birth cohort, perform relational queries, and map spatial patterns that can be directly visualized with ArcGIS. This June, Prof. David Kaeli presented at another NIEHS SRP CLU-in Webinar on Big Data Analysis to describe how Core D plans to use environmental and health data collected as part of PROTECT to answer questions about health using a Big Data approach.

Core D’s research translation activities include collaborating with Earthsoft, the company who designed the EQuIS system. Earthsoft held Office Hours, where Core D presented a talk on “Utilizing EQuIS to Study Reproductive Health in Northern Puerto Rico”. At the Northeastern’s Pop-Up Open Lab, the Core presented how PROTECT has been using EQuIS to facilitate collaboration across Cores, Projects and disciplines in the sharing of samples, test and results. Finally, Core D presented their collaborative work with Project 3 on the urine study analysis at ALLDATA’15 conference in Barcelona (read more here).

Currently, Core D is working with other PROTECT projects to communicate PROTECT findings with industry, government agencies, community groups, study participants and more. Future collaborations will include supporting Project 3’s efforts to productize new principle component analysis (PCA) analysis methodology with manufacturers of the AB SCIEX 5800 Mass Spectrometer. The Data Core is also working with the Community Engagement Core and its partner, Silent Spring Institute to communicate personalized study findings with study participants