Informatics Research Seminar: SeDAP (Secure Data Analysis Platform)

November 5 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm

Speaker: Adrian Meyer, MS
Presented from UNC-Chapel Hill

Broadcast Link: Seminar



The Secure Data Analysis Platform (SeDAP) is a computing environment combining high accessibility, high security, and high data throughput within a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Its main objective is to enable collaboration for multi-disciplinary and multi-locational research teams while leveraging existing knowledge, resources, talents, and tools.


Adrian Meyer, MS is a seasoned computer systems expert with training in mechanical engineering and computer science. His working experience ranges from small start-ups to large Fortune 100 companies, most noticeably as a software architect at Allscripts for their ambulatory electronic medical record system and for Teradata in their CRM application development team.

As the Director of Systems Development for the Integrated Cancer Information and Surveillance System (ICISS) for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina, Mr. Meyer is tasked with building the information technology environment. These efforts include a FISMA-compliant secure research data environment, systems development for governance tracking, knowledge retention, data cataloging, cohort discovery, and searchable clinical coding references to support research efforts. His focus and interests are in clinical data mining, clinical informatics, and contextual analysis of data.

Informatics Research Seminar: Statistical Approaches to Electronic Health Data: Identifying and Quantitating Disease

November 12 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Joseph E. Lucas, PhD
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar



The systematic collection of electronic medical records is creating new opportunities throughout healthcare. Applications based on EHR data have the potential to disrupt the way physicians and health care systems interact with patients, the way clinical research is conducted, and the ability of regulators to encourage medical practice focused on patient health. However, medical records are complicated and messy, incorporating many different types of data that often contain mistakes or holes, and sometimes subject to abrupt changes in structure and content.

A statistical approach to jointly analyzing text, categorical, and continuous data to model a patient’s disease state is presented. This approach allows for the collection of multiple sources of evidence into a single coherent picture of disease. A parametric family of curves is used to describe the progression of health and disease through time (as recorded in the medical record). This allows different health outcomes to be tied together as a single picture of heath, such as the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and future admission into skilled nursing facilities. Aspects of this approach applied to multiple different EHR data sets will be demonstrated.


Joseph E. Lucas, PhD conducts research focused on analytics at the intersection of biology/medicine and large, complex sets of data. His statistical expertise includes variable selection, factor modeling, experimental design, and topic models. His domain expertise includes proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, personalized medicine, biosignature discovery, and electronic health records. He has worked with collaborators on discoveries relating to cancer, infectious disease, radiation toxicity, and environmental exposure.

Before joining the Information Initiative at Duke, Dr. Lucas spent six years as a professor in the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University and worked at Quintiles as a Senior Director in the Predictive Analytics group. He is an Adjunct Research Associate Professor in the Department of Statistical Science at Duke University. He obtained a PhD in statistics from Duke University and a MA in both Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned an undergraduate degree in Applied Math/Biology from Brown University.

2014 Health Informatics Career & Internship Fair/Symposium

  • HP Events
When Oct 24, 2014

10:00 am

04:00 pm
East Carolina University – Greenville, NC

The Duke Center for Health Informatics (DCHI), along with East Carolina University, North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina, and University of North Carolina-Charlotte, is sponsoring the 2014 Health Informatics Career & Internship Fair/Symposium. The day-long event will be held on Friday, October 24, 2014 at the East Carolina University campus in Greenville.

The program includes panel discussions geared toward specific groups (educational institutions, employers, and students), as well as opportunities for interaction and one-on-one discussion with health informatics industry representatives. To learn more and register for the event, please visit the Career Fair’s website.

2014 Health Informatics Career & Internship Fair/Symposium

Walden Spotlighted by HL7 International News



Anita Walden, Senior Informaticist Project Leader, was featured in the “Member Spotlight” article of the May 2014 issue of HL7 International News. Anita’s efforts developing semantic standard data elements with HL7 for the last 11 years is highlighted, as well as her work in the Duke Translational Medicine Institute. The article also details Anita’s world travels, including her most recent adventure climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Southeastern Diabetes Initiative (SEDI) Data Mart: Phase 2 Completion

The purpose of the Southeastern Diabetes Initiative (SEDI) Data Mart is to gather EHR data from multiple sources, standardize these data into one common data model, and store the data in one set of tables. The standardized data support a broad range of analyses without requiring researchers and analysts to maintain site-specific institutional knowledge about each data source and its quarterly data harvests. Phase 2 of the SEDI Data Mart was completed on April 30, 2014 and included designing, documenting, reviewing, creating, and populating the first four data domains with data from participating data partners. This success would not be possible without strong partnerships and collaboration with participating sites in all four SEDI counties.

The Southeastern Diabetes Initiative (SEDI) is a joint effort between several departments within Duke and external partners. The SEDI project is funded by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Health Care Innovations Award and a grant from the Bristol Meyers Squibb Foundation. A poster about SEDI was featured at the Healthcare Data Warehouse  Association Conference in the fall of 2013.

Robert Califf, MD, Director of DTMI and Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research, is the Principal Investigator for the Southeastern Diabetes Initiative (SEDI).

“The purpose of the Southeastern Diabetes Initiative Clinical Intervention is to augment existing standard of care in an effort to (1) improve population level diabetes management, health outcomes and quality of life for diagnosed and undiagnosed adults living with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, (2) reduce disparities in diabetes management, health outcomes and quality of life for adults living with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, and (3) reduce healthcare costs associated with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.”

Tenenbaum Named Associate Editor of JBI



Jessie Tenenbaum

Jessica D. Tenenbaum, PhD, the Associate Director for Bioinformatics for the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, will join the Journal of Biomedical Informatics as an Associate Editor beginning in January 2014. Of the appointment, Dr. Tenenbaum said, “I’m very excited to take on this new role and honored to be joining the JBI editorial team. It’s a great opportunity to both observe and impact the literature in our field, and the peer review process itself.”

Validation and Submission of Data and Analysis to the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) Repository

by Salvatore Mungal

The GEO repository, hosted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), is a public functional genomics repository that accepts array and sequence-based data supporting MIAME-compliant data submissions. The DCI Bioinformatics and Information Systems Shared Resource groups duplicated analysis environments in the validation process to accurately reproduce microarray data analysis before submission to the GEO repository. This validation process was performed by creating multiple environments using Debian GNU/Linux 64-bit operating system on local and networked virtual servers. The same R version used in the original analysis was installed, followed by the precise loading by version numbers of the required R packages. The data was propagated to the other environments, and the integrity was ascertained by matching MD5 checksums of the original data. The Shared Resource groups have successfully validated and submitted their first study submission to GEO with validation confirmation by all of their duplicated environments.

NCBI’s goal is to advance science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

Online Questionnaires Now Available for MURDOCK Participants



The Measurement to understand Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis (MURDOCK) Registry now includes an online system integrated into the Registry in February 2014 that allows participants to complete their visit questionnaires online. The system is designed to assist the office staff with study management activities by increasing the various options for form completion, heightening registry enrollment, and reducing paper processing.

The new system distributes automated notices to participants to remind them to submit their forms using the online system prior to their enrollment visit, with email notification to study staff when a form is submitted. During a participant enrollment visit, staff can make changes with the participant’s approval. The forms can also be printed by participants if enrollment will take place at one of the study sites that does not have an internet connection.

The online system was a major undertaking, built from the ground up. The MURDOCK home page accessed by participants shows the completion status of their forms. They can manage their account information, and in the future will be able to complete follow-up forms online. The controlled release is currently in a 30-day pilot phase to identify any issues or enhancements that are needed prior to a full-scale release.

Development of the system was led by Julie Frund, DTMI. Workflows and revised processes for the study staff were facilitated by Kimberly Ellis, Kannapolis Clinical Data Specialist. Because of the high visibility and use by the general public, a usability study was conducted last summer to improve the interface. The team involved with the usability study included Constance Johnson, PhD, MS, RN, Duke School of Nursing, Michelle Smerek, Kannapolis, and Anita Walden, DTMI.