Using computer systems for any purpose often involves storing and accessing data. In the public arena, applications accessed by smartphone or website are designed for a specific purpose – to get the current weather or keep up with friends online. These systems all keep their data in different places and think about data in different ways (storage, access, searching, etc). Similarly, the applications and databases that store clinical and research data can have distinct purposes - and it can be difficult to relate data from one system to data in another. But when those data are ultimately combined and analyzed, the results can be powerful.
The ability to integrate data from different sources allows our researchers to be innovative in the questions we ask. Does access to fresh fruits and vegetables lower the risk for certain medical conditions? How many drugs commonly prescribed in the US are potentially influenced by genetic changes? Do ancient Neaderthal sequences change your risk of disease? All these questions were made possible by bridging data from different sources. As part of the Consortium for Alzheimer’s Sequence Analysis (part of the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project), Dr. Haines and Dr. Bush integrate data from a variety of public resources to help understand the impact of genetic changes identified in Alzheimer’s Disease. Our CICB data scientists and technologists are leading efforts to integrate data from clinical studies within health systems and across the Cleveland area. Our data resource called the CICB SHED provides a secure data environment for access and analysis of clinical data, but also provides a resource for joint analyses of data common across multiple studies.
About the Institute